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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Austin, Michael J.; Lemon, Kathy
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    This review of promising programs to address the challenges facing low-income families living in distressed neighborhoods reveals three key themes: (1) Earnings and asset development programs are used to increase the economic self-sufficiency of low-income families and include: place-based employment programs, a focus on ˜good jobs," the use of work incentives, programs that promote banking, car and home ownership, and the use of the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Family strengthening programs are used to improve health and educational outcomes, as well as link families to needed support and benefit services and include: nurse home visitation, parenting education, early childhood educational programs, and facilitating the receipt of support services; and (3) Neighborhood strengthening programs are used to improve features of the neighborhood, collaboration among service providers, and resident involvement in neighborhood affairs and include: the use of community development corporations, comprehensive community initiatives and community organizing strategies. (author abstract...

    This review of promising programs to address the challenges facing low-income families living in distressed neighborhoods reveals three key themes: (1) Earnings and asset development programs are used to increase the economic self-sufficiency of low-income families and include: place-based employment programs, a focus on ˜good jobs," the use of work incentives, programs that promote banking, car and home ownership, and the use of the Earned Income Tax Credit; (2) Family strengthening programs are used to improve health and educational outcomes, as well as link families to needed support and benefit services and include: nurse home visitation, parenting education, early childhood educational programs, and facilitating the receipt of support services; and (3) Neighborhood strengthening programs are used to improve features of the neighborhood, collaboration among service providers, and resident involvement in neighborhood affairs and include: the use of community development corporations, comprehensive community initiatives and community organizing strategies. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2009

    Launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in December 2006, DCA’s OFE has connected approximately 32,000 New Yorkers to financial classes and counseling, helped 226,000 New Yorkers access free or low-cost tax preparation, facilitated more than $450,000 in savings in households with low incomes through its $aveNYC Account program, advocated for stronger consumer protections in the financial services sector, and more. The report describes the multitude of financial empowerment innovations, strategies, and approaches OFE has implemented thus far—and the national implications for its work, which include building the new field of municipal financial empowerment and founding the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition. (author abstract)

    Launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in December 2006, DCA’s OFE has connected approximately 32,000 New Yorkers to financial classes and counseling, helped 226,000 New Yorkers access free or low-cost tax preparation, facilitated more than $450,000 in savings in households with low incomes through its $aveNYC Account program, advocated for stronger consumer protections in the financial services sector, and more. The report describes the multitude of financial empowerment innovations, strategies, and approaches OFE has implemented thus far—and the national implications for its work, which include building the new field of municipal financial empowerment and founding the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Nunez, Stephen; Verma, Nandita; Yang, Edith
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    In 2007, New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity launched Opportunity NYC–Work Rewards to test three ways of increasing employment and earnings for families who receive rental assistance under the federal Housing Choice Vouchers Program. Two of the interventions include the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, the main federal effort for increasing employment and earnings and reducing reliance on government subsidies. FSS, which is administered by local public housing authorities, offers participants case management to connect them to employment and social services, as well as a vehicle for building their assets through an escrow savings account. As a family’s income increases, so does its share of the rent. Families in FSS pay that increased rent to the landlord, and the housing authority credits the family’s escrow account based on the increases in earned income during the term of the FSS contract. Escrow accruals are paid to participants when they complete the program, which could take up to five years.

    The Work Rewards demonstration is evaluating the...

    In 2007, New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity launched Opportunity NYC–Work Rewards to test three ways of increasing employment and earnings for families who receive rental assistance under the federal Housing Choice Vouchers Program. Two of the interventions include the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, the main federal effort for increasing employment and earnings and reducing reliance on government subsidies. FSS, which is administered by local public housing authorities, offers participants case management to connect them to employment and social services, as well as a vehicle for building their assets through an escrow savings account. As a family’s income increases, so does its share of the rent. Families in FSS pay that increased rent to the landlord, and the housing authority credits the family’s escrow account based on the increases in earned income during the term of the FSS contract. Escrow accruals are paid to participants when they complete the program, which could take up to five years.

    The Work Rewards demonstration is evaluating the effectiveness of the FSS program alone (“FSS-only”) as well as an enhanced version of the program that offered all the components of FSS plus special cash work incentives (“FSS+incentives”) conditioned on reaching specific education- and employment-related benchmarks. Work Rewards also tests an offer of those same incentives alone, without FSS, to determine whether this administratively simpler and potentially less costly approach could be effective. The demonstration used an experimental design, with program and control groups for the different studies. This report presents results over four years. (author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Riccio, James; Dechausay, Nadine; Miller, Cynthia; Nunez, Stephen; Verma, Nandita; Yang, Edith
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Opportunity NYC–Family Rewards, an experimental, privately funded, conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to help families break the cycle of poverty, was the first comprehensive CCT program in a developed country. Launched in 2007 by New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), Family Rewards offered cash assistance to low-income families to reduce immediate hardship, but conditioned that assistance on families’ efforts to build up their “human capital” to reduce the risk of longer-term and second-generation poverty. The program thus tied cash rewards to pre-specified activities and outcomes in children’s education, families’ preventive health care, and parents’ employment. It operated as a pilot program for three years, concluding, as planned, in August 2010.
    
    Six community-based organizations, in partnership with a lead nonprofit agency, ran Family Rewards in six of New York City’s highest-poverty communities. MDRC is evaluating the program through a randomized control trial involving approximately 4,800 families and 11,000 children,...

    Opportunity NYC–Family Rewards, an experimental, privately funded, conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to help families break the cycle of poverty, was the first comprehensive CCT program in a developed country. Launched in 2007 by New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), Family Rewards offered cash assistance to low-income families to reduce immediate hardship, but conditioned that assistance on families’ efforts to build up their “human capital” to reduce the risk of longer-term and second-generation poverty. The program thus tied cash rewards to pre-specified activities and outcomes in children’s education, families’ preventive health care, and parents’ employment. It operated as a pilot program for three years, concluding, as planned, in August 2010.
    
    Six community-based organizations, in partnership with a lead nonprofit agency, ran Family Rewards in six of New York City’s highest-poverty communities. MDRC is evaluating the program through a randomized control trial involving approximately 4,800 families and 11,000 children, half of whom could receive the cash rewards if they met the required conditions, and half who were assigned to a control group that could not receive the rewards. This report presents final results on the experience of operating the program and interim findings on its effects on a wide range of outcomes three to four years after participants entered the program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Riccio, James A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs use financial incentives that offer low-income families a way to reduce their immediate poverty while taking steps to improve their human capital. CCTs have spread across many lower- and middle-income nations with varying degrees of success. The first comprehensive CCT program in a high-income nation was a privately funded demonstration project conducted in New York City called Opportunity NYC—Family Rewards. This program was designed by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity and nongovernmental agencies in collaboration with MDRC and offered financial rewards tied to children's education progress, family preventive health-care practices, and parents' employment. It is the subject of an ongoing long-term random assignment evaluation by researchers at MDRC. Preliminary evaluation results covering the program's early operational phase were released in 2010 and summarized by IRP. In this issue of Fast Focus, James Riccio shares new evaluation results published by MDRC in September 2013. In brief, Riccio and his team found that...

    Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs use financial incentives that offer low-income families a way to reduce their immediate poverty while taking steps to improve their human capital. CCTs have spread across many lower- and middle-income nations with varying degrees of success. The first comprehensive CCT program in a high-income nation was a privately funded demonstration project conducted in New York City called Opportunity NYC—Family Rewards. This program was designed by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity and nongovernmental agencies in collaboration with MDRC and offered financial rewards tied to children's education progress, family preventive health-care practices, and parents' employment. It is the subject of an ongoing long-term random assignment evaluation by researchers at MDRC. Preliminary evaluation results covering the program's early operational phase were released in 2010 and summarized by IRP. In this issue of Fast Focus, James Riccio shares new evaluation results published by MDRC in September 2013. In brief, Riccio and his team found that Family Rewards' effects through the end of the program and into the early post-program period were more modest than had been hoped for, but the range of positive effects justifies continuing to experiment with the CCT concept to try to improve it. A "next generation" version of the model is now being tested in the Bronx, NY, and Memphis, Tennessee.  (author abstract)

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