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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 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: Hein, Maria L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2006

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) began funding Individual Development Account (IDA) programs for low-income refugees in October 1999. The objectives of ORR’s IDA program are: 1) "to promote the participation of refugees in the financial institutions of this country;" and 2) "to assist refugees in purchasing assets to promote their economic self-sufficiency."

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement’s IDA program, as described in the 1999 Program Announcement (Federal Register, June, 9, 1999), is designed to help participants to purchase assets, as a means of increasing their financial independence. Program participants receive financial literacy training and have the opportunity to open a matched savings account. IDA program participants must save toward one of the following savings goals:

    • Homeownership or renovation;
    • Microenterprise capitalization;
    • Post-secondary education;
    • Vocational training or recertification;
    • Automobile purchase (if needed to maintain or upgrade employment)
    • Computer purchase (for one’s...

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) began funding Individual Development Account (IDA) programs for low-income refugees in October 1999. The objectives of ORR’s IDA program are: 1) "to promote the participation of refugees in the financial institutions of this country;" and 2) "to assist refugees in purchasing assets to promote their economic self-sufficiency."

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement’s IDA program, as described in the 1999 Program Announcement (Federal Register, June, 9, 1999), is designed to help participants to purchase assets, as a means of increasing their financial independence. Program participants receive financial literacy training and have the opportunity to open a matched savings account. IDA program participants must save toward one of the following savings goals:

    • Homeownership or renovation;
    • Microenterprise capitalization;
    • Post-secondary education;
    • Vocational training or recertification;
    • Automobile purchase (if needed to maintain or upgrade employment)
    • Computer purchase (for one’s education or microenterprise).

    At the time that funds are withdrawn for a qualifying asset purchase, the withdrawals are matched. Some of ORR’s IDA program grantees offer a 1:1 match (i.e., in these programs, an individual participant can have a maximum of $4,000 of their savings matched, receiving a $4,000 match, for a total of $8,000 toward their asset purchase). The remainder offer a 2:1 match (i.e., in these programs, an individual participant can have a maximum of $2,000 of their savings matched, receiving a $4,000 match, for a total of $6,000 toward their asset purchase).

    In order to qualify for ORR’s IDA program, a refugee (see footnote 1) must:

    • Have earned income
    • Have a household earned income that does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level (at the time of program enrollment)
    • Have assets that do not exceed $10,000 (at the time of enrollment), excluding the value of a primary residence.

    (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Rawlings, Lynette A.; Capps, Randolph; Gentsch, Kerstin; Fortuny, Karina
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    How are immigrants integrating in U.S. inner cities? To answer this question, this report draws on a unique survey of residents in 10 vulnerable urban neighborhoods to examine the financial well-being and economic integration of families of different racial, ethnic, and nativity status. The paper explores the extent to which the economic well-being of immigrant groups is influenced by specific factors related to their immigrant status, compared with members of native-born minority groups and native-born whites. Among the main findings from the analysis is that families with children across all groups are especially vulnerable. In addition, we find that immigrants and native minorities in the neighborhoods we examine face similar types of economic difficulties—although to varying degrees. However, after controlling for citizenship, English proficiency, education and having a driver's license and a reliable car, many of the economic disadvantages disappear for immigrant groups, but not for native-born minorities. These findings suggest that even in these tough neighborhoods, the...

    How are immigrants integrating in U.S. inner cities? To answer this question, this report draws on a unique survey of residents in 10 vulnerable urban neighborhoods to examine the financial well-being and economic integration of families of different racial, ethnic, and nativity status. The paper explores the extent to which the economic well-being of immigrant groups is influenced by specific factors related to their immigrant status, compared with members of native-born minority groups and native-born whites. Among the main findings from the analysis is that families with children across all groups are especially vulnerable. In addition, we find that immigrants and native minorities in the neighborhoods we examine face similar types of economic difficulties—although to varying degrees. However, after controlling for citizenship, English proficiency, education and having a driver's license and a reliable car, many of the economic disadvantages disappear for immigrant groups, but not for native-born minorities. These findings suggest that even in these tough neighborhoods, the potential for economic integration of immigrants is strong. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rawlings, Lynette A.; Gentsch, Kerstin
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2008

    In the second fact sheet we examine what percent of respondents in low-income neighborhoods received financial help in the last 12 months from families and friends or from other people they live with. Overall, 25 percent of respondents received financial help from families and friends. This figure differs substantially by nativity. Moreover, the patterns of receiving help from family and friends are fairly similar across race and ethnic groups for U.S.-born respondents, whereas the percent of immigrant respondents who received help from family and friends differed sizably among region of origin. (author abstract)

    In the second fact sheet we examine what percent of respondents in low-income neighborhoods received financial help in the last 12 months from families and friends or from other people they live with. Overall, 25 percent of respondents received financial help from families and friends. This figure differs substantially by nativity. Moreover, the patterns of receiving help from family and friends are fairly similar across race and ethnic groups for U.S.-born respondents, whereas the percent of immigrant respondents who received help from family and friends differed sizably among region of origin. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Federal Reserve System; Brookings Institution
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    In 2006, the Community Affairs Offices of the Federal Reserve System partnered with the Brookings Institution to examine the issue of concentrated poverty. The resulting report, The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty in America: Case Studies from Communities Across the U.S., profiles 16 high-poverty communities from across the country, including immigrant gateway, Native American, urban, and rural communities. Through these case studies, the report contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of poor people living in poor communities, and the policies that will be needed to bring both into the economic mainstream. (author introduction)

    In 2006, the Community Affairs Offices of the Federal Reserve System partnered with the Brookings Institution to examine the issue of concentrated poverty. The resulting report, The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty in America: Case Studies from Communities Across the U.S., profiles 16 high-poverty communities from across the country, including immigrant gateway, Native American, urban, and rural communities. Through these case studies, the report contributes to our understanding of the dynamics of poor people living in poor communities, and the policies that will be needed to bring both into the economic mainstream. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Coulton, Claudia J.; Theodos, Brett; Austin Turner, Margery
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    Americans change residences frequently. Residential mobility can reflect positive changes in a family's circumstances or be a symptom of instability and insecurity. Mobility may also change neighborhoods as a whole. To shed light on these challenges, this report uses a unique survey conducted for the Making Connections initiative. The first component measures how mobility contributed to changes in neighborhoods' composition and characteristics. The second component identifies groups of households that reflect different reasons for moving or staying in place. The final component introduces five stylized models of neighborhood performance: each has implications for low-income families' well-being and for community-change efforts. (author abstract)

    Americans change residences frequently. Residential mobility can reflect positive changes in a family's circumstances or be a symptom of instability and insecurity. Mobility may also change neighborhoods as a whole. To shed light on these challenges, this report uses a unique survey conducted for the Making Connections initiative. The first component measures how mobility contributed to changes in neighborhoods' composition and characteristics. The second component identifies groups of households that reflect different reasons for moving or staying in place. The final component introduces five stylized models of neighborhood performance: each has implications for low-income families' well-being and for community-change efforts. (author abstract)

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