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  • Individual Author: Elliott, Diana; Quakenbush, Caleb
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Washington, DC, is a city of contrasts with respect to residents’ financial security. While some residents are among the country’s most financially secure, others find it hard to make ends meet. High housing costs, unequal opportunity, and economically segregated neighborhoods make it challenging for some residents to feel financially secure and to weather unexpected expenses and emergencies.

    The city has extensive resources to support residents, ranging from policies that protect consumers to city-led programs that assist those in need to deep nonprofit capacity that helps residents improve their financial standing. But even in a city with strong supports for financial health, more can be done. To learn where gaps and opportunities exist in DC’s financial landscape, we spoke with residents about their financial challenges, how they address financial crises, the financial services they like and use most, and what financial service needs are not being met. From this knowledge, better programs can be designed to help residents shore up their financial standing.

    This...

    Washington, DC, is a city of contrasts with respect to residents’ financial security. While some residents are among the country’s most financially secure, others find it hard to make ends meet. High housing costs, unequal opportunity, and economically segregated neighborhoods make it challenging for some residents to feel financially secure and to weather unexpected expenses and emergencies.

    The city has extensive resources to support residents, ranging from policies that protect consumers to city-led programs that assist those in need to deep nonprofit capacity that helps residents improve their financial standing. But even in a city with strong supports for financial health, more can be done. To learn where gaps and opportunities exist in DC’s financial landscape, we spoke with residents about their financial challenges, how they address financial crises, the financial services they like and use most, and what financial service needs are not being met. From this knowledge, better programs can be designed to help residents shore up their financial standing.

    This brief describes the financial landscape for DC residents and the products and services that would help them most. Additionally, this brief is responsive to the city’s concurrent and ongoing policy and program conversations. For one, the DC government is investigating whether a financial empowerment center—where residents can receive financial counseling—may be needed and for whom. For another, nonprofit and government stakeholders have been discussing small-dollar loan gaps, where residents seek emergency funds, and how best to address such needs. This brief is grounded in these conversations and related questions, explored through six focus groups conducted in October and December 2018 with residents accessing financial programs through various DC nonprofit service providers. We conducted additional stakeholder interviews among leaders working within the DC government and at area nonprofits who work with people with notable financial needs of potential interest for financial empowerment center programming. These people include returning citizens, immigrants, those transitioning off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and those transitioning out of homelessness.

    The findings reveal the financial service needs that programs are not meeting and potential avenues to better help DC residents move toward greater security.

    Key findings include the following:

    • Distrust in financial institutions is prevalent. Most residents in the focus groups were banked. But there was considerable distrust of large financial institutions because of negative experiences with banks and loans. Some residents reported switching banks or credit unions after bad experiences and reported pulling money out of their accounts.
    • Residents struggle to build up savings. Most respondents reported that saving money for emergencies and long-term financial goals was difficult for such reasons as student loan payments, transportation expenses, financial disruptions, unpredictable employment, and consumer debt. Housing costs were frequently cited as the biggest expense and concern.
    • Credit access and understanding is limited. Despite an interest in improving their credit scores, respondents did not necessarily have the correct information or know the best way to achieve this goal. In addition, not all residents have access to revolving credit, and its access is limited in less affluent areas.
    • Small-dollar loans could help. Residents expressed a need for emergency cash assistance. There are few safe and affordable small-dollar loan products in DC, and none provide immediate assistance, so expanding access could help. But residents are concerned about borrowing money and being locked into an inflexible payment cycle and schedule.

    Many residents could be served well by a financial empowerment center. This includes returning citizens, people transitioning off government assistance and housing programs, and immigrants. Financial counseling and coaching, loan products, and programs that target debt management and housing expenses could offer benefits. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Betts, Julian; Bachofer, Karen Volz; Hayes, Joseph; Hill, Laura; Lee, Andrew; Zau, Andrew
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    The paper uses longitudinal student data to study the correlates of academic progress of English Learners (ELs) in the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts, which together account for roughly 15% of ELs in California and 5% in the nation. We focus on two types of ELs of special policy concern – Long Term ELs who have completed at least five years in the district without being reclassified as English-fluent, and Late Arriving ELs who arrive in the district during secondary school with low levels of English proficiency. We study in detail the fidelity with which schools assign ELs to English Language Development (ELD) classes according to each districts’ EL Master Plans. We then model gains in English and math performance, and on the state’s test of EL language proficiency, as a function of a school’s fidelity of implementation to the course placement criteria. We also consider two other types of factors: multiple measures of the demographic makeup of the school’s student body — including the percentage of students who are ELs and the diversity of languages spoken —...

    The paper uses longitudinal student data to study the correlates of academic progress of English Learners (ELs) in the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts, which together account for roughly 15% of ELs in California and 5% in the nation. We focus on two types of ELs of special policy concern – Long Term ELs who have completed at least five years in the district without being reclassified as English-fluent, and Late Arriving ELs who arrive in the district during secondary school with low levels of English proficiency. We study in detail the fidelity with which schools assign ELs to English Language Development (ELD) classes according to each districts’ EL Master Plans. We then model gains in English and math performance, and on the state’s test of EL language proficiency, as a function of a school’s fidelity of implementation to the course placement criteria. We also consider two other types of factors: multiple measures of the demographic makeup of the school’s student body — including the percentage of students who are ELs and the diversity of languages spoken — and indicators of various programs and supports the two districts provide to ELs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Smith, Richard
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Although the Federal government is responsible for immigration policy, immigrant integration into the workforce and community happens through the work of local governments and non-governmental organizations. Recent scholarship has proposed that urban spatial structure influences whether local governments implement policy to incorporate immigrants which in turn shapes the context of reception. Specifically, some have argued that a bifurcated population (e.g., about half Hispanic and half Anglo), would be more likely to have immigrant friendly policy outcomes for immigrants than a multiethnic population (i.e., a mix of ethnicities and racialized populations but no majority), which in turn would be more likely to have immigrant friendly outcomes than a homogeneously Anglo population. However, the state of the literature is generally limited examine a small set of cases in depth, or to look at specific immigrant friendly or anti-immigrant ordinances as policy outcomes. This question is important for intergovernmental relationships (e.g., Federal requirements to support those with...

    Although the Federal government is responsible for immigration policy, immigrant integration into the workforce and community happens through the work of local governments and non-governmental organizations. Recent scholarship has proposed that urban spatial structure influences whether local governments implement policy to incorporate immigrants which in turn shapes the context of reception. Specifically, some have argued that a bifurcated population (e.g., about half Hispanic and half Anglo), would be more likely to have immigrant friendly policy outcomes for immigrants than a multiethnic population (i.e., a mix of ethnicities and racialized populations but no majority), which in turn would be more likely to have immigrant friendly outcomes than a homogeneously Anglo population. However, the state of the literature is generally limited examine a small set of cases in depth, or to look at specific immigrant friendly or anti-immigrant ordinances as policy outcomes. This question is important for intergovernmental relationships (e.g., Federal requirements to support those with Limited English Proficiency) as well as community engagement. In order to build evidence to inform decision making, I conduct content analysis of annual reports from local governments (n=127) that participated in place-based community development initiatives submitted to the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development from 1996 – 2008 to provide insight into this proposed relationship. First, I categorize these local governments as including immigrant-related projects or programs. Second, I categorize the neighborhoods designated within the local governments by type of spatial structure (i.e., homogenous, bifurcated, multiethnic) using census data for the designated areas. Then I test associations between having immigrant-related projects or programs and the designated neighborhoods’ spatial structures and population characteristics. I find that designated neighborhoods with increasing immigrant populations, Hispanic bifurcation, or homogeneously Hispanic were associated with local governments developing immigrant-related projects and programs. Homogeneously Hispanic and bifurcated Hispanic places had higher odds of immigrant friendly policy outcomes than multiethnic places. There were no statistically significant difference between multiethnic places and bifurcated Black/White, or homogeneously Black or White places. While this research is not generalizable outside the study population, it is consistent with the theory that bifurcated places are more likely to have immigrant-friendly policy outcomes. This research is also consistent with theory in that multiethnic places may not successfully form coalitions for change. In these instances, it may rest on the action of local government civil servants to respond to population changes. Implications for research, policy, and performance management dashboards are discussed. For example, the American Community Survey has annual updates of population data that could be used to visualize urban spatial structure against self-reported English language attainment to inform local decision making regarding immigrant integration. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gelatt, Julia; Koball, Heather; Bernstein, Hamutal; Runes, Charmaine; Pratt, Eleanor
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Over seven million U.S. children live with at least one noncitizen parent -- and 80 percent of these children are US-born citizens. Close to 5 million US-citizen children live with an unauthorized immigrant parent, potentially subject to deportation. Research has shown that the deportation of a parent has serious deleterious effects on families—emotional distress, behavioral issues, and economic hardship for children—and that even the threat of deportation can hurt a family’s well-being by causing fear that restricts mobility, access to jobs, and use of public and private supports in times of need. The election of President Trump, with his plans to increase efforts to identify and deport unauthorized immigrants, has signaled a harsher policy environment for immigrant families than in recent years. In State Immigration Enforcement Policies: How They Impact Low-Income Households, researchers at NCCP, Urban Institute, and Migration Policy Institute looked at how the changing immigration policy environment is likely to affect immigrant families. Specifically, the report examines...

    Over seven million U.S. children live with at least one noncitizen parent -- and 80 percent of these children are US-born citizens. Close to 5 million US-citizen children live with an unauthorized immigrant parent, potentially subject to deportation. Research has shown that the deportation of a parent has serious deleterious effects on families—emotional distress, behavioral issues, and economic hardship for children—and that even the threat of deportation can hurt a family’s well-being by causing fear that restricts mobility, access to jobs, and use of public and private supports in times of need. The election of President Trump, with his plans to increase efforts to identify and deport unauthorized immigrants, has signaled a harsher policy environment for immigrant families than in recent years. In State Immigration Enforcement Policies: How They Impact Low-Income Households, researchers at NCCP, Urban Institute, and Migration Policy Institute looked at how the changing immigration policy environment is likely to affect immigrant families. Specifically, the report examines whether immigrant families living in states that ramped up enforcement of federal policy saw any changes in their material hardship, or how often fear of deportation affected their ability to pay for essentials (such as rent, utilities, or food). Developed with an interactive “State Immigration Policy Resource”, the report highlights important connections between immigration policy enforcement and well-being in immigrant households. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Fishman, Mike
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2017

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes the findings from an implementation study of four separate training programs for long-term unemployed workers. This presentation discusses the policy context, evaluation overview, ready-to-work grantee programs, and key findings of the study.

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop summarizes the findings from an implementation study of four separate training programs for long-term unemployed workers. This presentation discusses the policy context, evaluation overview, ready-to-work grantee programs, and key findings of the study.

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