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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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  • Individual Author: Marr, Matthew D.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that Section 8 voucher recipients are often unable to secure apartments outside of high-poverty areas in tight urban rental markets. However, intensive housing placement services greatly improve the success and mobility of voucher holders. Drawing on ethnographic research in the housing placement department of a private, nonprofit community-based organization, I first describe how fundamental problems in implementing the public subsidy program in a tight private rental market generate apprehension among landlords and voucher recipients that can prevent the successful use of vouchers. Second, I demonstrate how housing placement specialists can dispel and overcome this apprehension through a variety of tactics that require extensive soft skills and a deep commitment to the mission of housing poor families. These findings provide support for the increased use of housing placement services to improve success and mobility rates for Section 8 vouchers. (author abstract)

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that Section 8 voucher recipients are often unable to secure apartments outside of high-poverty areas in tight urban rental markets. However, intensive housing placement services greatly improve the success and mobility of voucher holders. Drawing on ethnographic research in the housing placement department of a private, nonprofit community-based organization, I first describe how fundamental problems in implementing the public subsidy program in a tight private rental market generate apprehension among landlords and voucher recipients that can prevent the successful use of vouchers. Second, I demonstrate how housing placement specialists can dispel and overcome this apprehension through a variety of tactics that require extensive soft skills and a deep commitment to the mission of housing poor families. These findings provide support for the increased use of housing placement services to improve success and mobility rates for Section 8 vouchers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schneider, Jo Anne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2004

    Social capital for communities refers to establishing trust-based networks. That means not just establishing strong connections, but reinforcing the quality of those relationships among families, communities and organizations. This is that important, underlying ingredient that determines healthy families and communities. Using four cities as case studies, this report reflects the various aspects of social capital as it pertains to immigrant neighborhoods and communities of color, showing ways that social capital can help or hinder community development. (Author abstract)

    Social capital for communities refers to establishing trust-based networks. That means not just establishing strong connections, but reinforcing the quality of those relationships among families, communities and organizations. This is that important, underlying ingredient that determines healthy families and communities. Using four cities as case studies, this report reflects the various aspects of social capital as it pertains to immigrant neighborhoods and communities of color, showing ways that social capital can help or hinder community development. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Duncan, Greg; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Aber, J. Lawrence
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Perhaps the most alarming phenomenon in American cities has been the transformation of many neighborhoods into isolated ghettos where poverty is the norm and violent crime, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and soaring school dropout rates are rampant. Public concern over these destitute areas has focused on their most vulnerable inhabitants—children and adolescents. How profoundly does neighborhood poverty endanger their well-being and development? Is the influence of neighborhood more powerful than that of the family? Neighborhood Poverty approaches these questions with an insightful and wide-ranging investigation into the effect of community poverty on children's physical health, cognitive and verbal abilities, educational attainment, and social adjustment.

    This two-volume set offers the most current research and analysis from experts in the fields of child development, social psychology, sociology and economics. Drawing from national and city-based sources, Volume I reports the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between children and community. As...

    Perhaps the most alarming phenomenon in American cities has been the transformation of many neighborhoods into isolated ghettos where poverty is the norm and violent crime, drug use, out-of-wedlock births, and soaring school dropout rates are rampant. Public concern over these destitute areas has focused on their most vulnerable inhabitants—children and adolescents. How profoundly does neighborhood poverty endanger their well-being and development? Is the influence of neighborhood more powerful than that of the family? Neighborhood Poverty approaches these questions with an insightful and wide-ranging investigation into the effect of community poverty on children's physical health, cognitive and verbal abilities, educational attainment, and social adjustment.

    This two-volume set offers the most current research and analysis from experts in the fields of child development, social psychology, sociology and economics. Drawing from national and city-based sources, Volume I reports the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between children and community. As the essays demonstrate, poverty entails a host of problems that affects the quality of educational, recreational, and child care services. Poor neighborhoods usually share other negative features—particularly racial segregation and a preponderance of single mother families—that may adversely affect children. Yet children are not equally susceptible to the pitfalls of deprived communities. Neighborhood has different effects depending on a child's age, race, and gender, while parenting techniques and a family's degree of community involvement also serve as mitigating factors.

    Volume II incorporates empirical data on neighborhood poverty into discussions of policy and program development. The contributors point to promising community initiatives and suggest methods to strengthen neighborhood-based service programs for children. Several essays analyze the conceptual and methodological issues surrounding the measurement of neighborhood characteristics. These essays focus on the need to expand scientific insight into urban poverty by drawing on broader pools of ethnographic, epidemiological, and quantitative data. Volume II explores the possibilities for a richer and more well-rounded understanding of neighborhood and poverty issues.

    To grasp the human cost of poverty, we must clearly understand how living in distressed neighborhoods impairs children's ability to function at every level. Neighborhood Poverty explores the multiple and complex paths between community, family, and childhood development. These two volumes provide and indispensable guide for social policy and demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary social science to probe complex social issues. (author abstract) 

    Table of Contents

    Introduction - Martha Gephart and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

    Chapter 1: Ecological Perspectives on the Neighborhood Context of Urban Poverty: Past and Present - Robert Sampson and Jeffrey Morenoff

    Chapter 2: The Influence of Neighborhoods on Children's Development: A Theoretical Perspective and a Research Agenda - Frank Furstenberg and Mary Elizabeth Hughes

    Chapter 3: Bringing Families Back In: Neighborhood Effects on Child Development - Robin Jarrett

    Chapter 4: Understanding the Neighborhood Context for Children and Families: Combining Epidemiological and Ethnographic Approaches - Jill Korbin and Claudia Coulton

    Chapter 5: Sibling Estimates of Neighborhood Effects - Daniel Aaronson

    Chapter 6: Capturing Social Process for Testing Mediational Models of Neighborhood Effects - Thomas Cook, Shobha Shagle, and Serdar Degirmencioglu

    Chapter 7: Community Influences on Adolescent Achievement and Deviance - Nancy Darling and Laurence Steinberg

    Chapter 8: On Ways of Thinking about Measuring Neighborhoods: Implications for Studying Context and Developmental Outcomes for Children - Linda Burton, Townsand Price-Spratlen, and Margaret Beale Spencer 

    Chapter 9: An Alternative Approach to Assessing Neighborhood Effects on Early Adolescent Achievement and Problem Behavior - Margaret Beale Spencer, Paul McDermott, Linda Burton, and Tedd Jay Kochman

    Chapter 10: Neighborhood Effects and State and Local Policy - Prudence Brown and Harold Richman

    Chapter 11: Communities as Place, Face, and Space: Provision of Services to Poor, Urban Children and Their Families

  • Individual Author: Howell, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2013

    As the demand for center city living in the US has grown, housing has been used to revitalize neighborhoods and contribute to the tax base of the city. I investigate the ways that change, fostered and shaped in part by federal and local housing and planning policies, affects low income neighborhoods undergoing redevelopment at the level of “community.” To study these issues I study the Washington, DC neighborhoods of Columbia Heights: In less than ten years, this neighborhood was transformed by planning and housing policies from a primarily low-income, isolated neighborhood to a truly mixed income neighborhood housing residents of varied ethnicities and income levels. Using an ethnographic approach, I interviewed residents, policy makers, agency staff, advocates, and housing developers; conducted archival research on planning documents, newspapers, blogs, neighborhood list-servs, and public hearing proceedings; and observed - both directly and as a participant – in public parks, commercial establishments, public hearings, community, tenant and organizational meetings, and at...

    As the demand for center city living in the US has grown, housing has been used to revitalize neighborhoods and contribute to the tax base of the city. I investigate the ways that change, fostered and shaped in part by federal and local housing and planning policies, affects low income neighborhoods undergoing redevelopment at the level of “community.” To study these issues I study the Washington, DC neighborhoods of Columbia Heights: In less than ten years, this neighborhood was transformed by planning and housing policies from a primarily low-income, isolated neighborhood to a truly mixed income neighborhood housing residents of varied ethnicities and income levels. Using an ethnographic approach, I interviewed residents, policy makers, agency staff, advocates, and housing developers; conducted archival research on planning documents, newspapers, blogs, neighborhood list-servs, and public hearing proceedings; and observed - both directly and as a participant – in public parks, commercial establishments, public hearings, community, tenant and organizational meetings, and at rallies and town halls. My findings suggest that the District of Columbia, neighborhood groups, housing advocates, and developers instituted some of the best practices in urban planning and housing policy, which led to a mixed income neighborhood with a focus on dense, mixed-use and multi-modal transit oriented development. However, in spite of – or perhaps because of – dramatic changes in the concentration of poverty, through the combination of the preservation of existing affordable housing and the addition of higher income new residents, low income residents’ sense of community, political power and access to amenities changed significantly. Moreover, the focus on place and physical amenities that has been a hallmark of large scale redevelopment has implicitly devalued less tangible elements of neighborhood life related to use-value, community cohesion, and culture. Further, the implied benefits of mixed income communities for low income households, combined with the narrative of urban decline and rebirth that echoes across American cities have combined to justify the social, political and physical displacement of existing residents. (author abstract)

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