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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: The Urban Institute
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

     The overarching goal of the Choice Neighborhoods program (Choice) is to redevelop distressed assisted housing projects and transform the neighborhoods surrounding them into mixed-income, high-opportunity places. Choice builds on lessons learned during HOPE VI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) long-running program to replace or rehabilitate distressed public housing. It maintains the emphasis of HOPE VI on public-private partnerships and mixed financing for replacing or rehabilitating assisted housing but extends eligibility to privately owned federally subsidized developments. It requires that grantees build at least one subsidized replacement housing unit for every assisted unit demolished in the target development. It also continues the emphasis of HOPE VI on protecting tenants during the redevelopment process and heightens aspirations to give existing tenants the opportunity to live in the redeveloped project upon its completion. It differs most from HOPE VI by providing funding for projects that create synergy between renovation of the target...

     The overarching goal of the Choice Neighborhoods program (Choice) is to redevelop distressed assisted housing projects and transform the neighborhoods surrounding them into mixed-income, high-opportunity places. Choice builds on lessons learned during HOPE VI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) long-running program to replace or rehabilitate distressed public housing. It maintains the emphasis of HOPE VI on public-private partnerships and mixed financing for replacing or rehabilitating assisted housing but extends eligibility to privately owned federally subsidized developments. It requires that grantees build at least one subsidized replacement housing unit for every assisted unit demolished in the target development. It also continues the emphasis of HOPE VI on protecting tenants during the redevelopment process and heightens aspirations to give existing tenants the opportunity to live in the redeveloped project upon its completion. It differs most from HOPE VI by providing funding for projects that create synergy between renovation of the target development and revitalization efforts within the neighborhood surrounding the target development. Beyond providing funding for neighborhood investments, Choice also fosters partnerships among organizations, agencies, and institutions working throughout the neighborhood to build affordable housing, provide social services, care for and educate children and youth, ensure public safety, and revitalize the neighborhood’s commercial opportunities and infrastructure.

    This interim report provides a preliminary view of the first five Choice implementation sites: Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle. (author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Busso, Matias; Kline, Patrick
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    This paper evaluates Round I of the federal urban Empowerment Zone (EZ) program, which constitutes one of the largest standardized federal interventions in impoverished urban American neighborhoods since President Johnson’s Model Cities program. The EZ program is a series of spatially targeted tax incentives and block grants designed to encourage economic, physical, and social investment in the neediest urban and rural areas in the United States. We use four decades of Census data on urban neighborhoods in conjunction with information on the proposed boundaries of rejected EZs to assess the impact of Round I EZ designation on local labor and housing market outcomes over the period 1994-2000. Utilizing a semi-parametric difference-in-differences estimator we find that neighborhoods receiving EZ designation experienced moderate improvements in labor market conditions and sizeable increases in owner-occupied housing values and rents relative to rejected and future Empowerment Zones. These effects were accompanied by small changes in the demographic composition of the neighborhoods,...

    This paper evaluates Round I of the federal urban Empowerment Zone (EZ) program, which constitutes one of the largest standardized federal interventions in impoverished urban American neighborhoods since President Johnson’s Model Cities program. The EZ program is a series of spatially targeted tax incentives and block grants designed to encourage economic, physical, and social investment in the neediest urban and rural areas in the United States. We use four decades of Census data on urban neighborhoods in conjunction with information on the proposed boundaries of rejected EZs to assess the impact of Round I EZ designation on local labor and housing market outcomes over the period 1994-2000. Utilizing a semi-parametric difference-in-differences estimator we find that neighborhoods receiving EZ designation experienced moderate improvements in labor market conditions and sizeable increases in owner-occupied housing values and rents relative to rejected and future Empowerment Zones. These effects were accompanied by small changes in the demographic composition of the neighborhoods, suggesting that some, though not all, of the observed improvements in EZ neighborhoods are the result of neighborhood churning. No evidence exists of large scale gentrification, indicating that many of the benefits (and costs) of the program have been captured by pre-existing residents. (author abstract)

    This resource was also published as a working paper by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Mendenhall, Ruby; DeLuca, Stefanie; Duncan, Greg
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    This study uses the unique design of the Gautreaux residential mobility program to estimate the long-run impacts of placement neighborhood conditions on the AFDC receipt (N = 793) and employment levels (N = 1258) of low-income Black women. We find that women initially placed in neighborhoods with few Black residents and moderate to high neighborhood resources experienced significantly more time employed when compared with women placed in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of Blacks and a low level of resources. Women placed in neighborhoods with high levels of resources and low Black populations also spent significantly less time on welfare than women placed in highly Black segregated areas with low levels of resources. (author abstract)

    This study uses the unique design of the Gautreaux residential mobility program to estimate the long-run impacts of placement neighborhood conditions on the AFDC receipt (N = 793) and employment levels (N = 1258) of low-income Black women. We find that women initially placed in neighborhoods with few Black residents and moderate to high neighborhood resources experienced significantly more time employed when compared with women placed in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of Blacks and a low level of resources. Women placed in neighborhoods with high levels of resources and low Black populations also spent significantly less time on welfare than women placed in highly Black segregated areas with low levels of resources. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Proscio, Tony
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Despite its high employment rate, the Near Northside Neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas, has a median income more than 40% below the citywide level. In 1999, the Near Northside Partners' Council (NNPC) became one of five centers for the national Neighborhood Jobs Initiative Demonstration. After extensive planning, the Neighborhood Jobs Initiative started full operation in Fort Worth's Near Northside in 2000. The Initiative is using a place-based approach to addressing the intermingled issues of culture, work, and intergenerational poverty by relying heavily on a network of cooperating community organizations with different specialties, including the Tarrant County College. The Initiative's initial objective has been to bring the level of adult employment among the heavily Latino neighborhood's residents to the level of the surrounding region over a period of several years while simultaneously working to increase the wages and quality of neighborhood residents' employment. Other areas on which the Initiative is placing special emphasis include encouraging more women to enter...

    Despite its high employment rate, the Near Northside Neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas, has a median income more than 40% below the citywide level. In 1999, the Near Northside Partners' Council (NNPC) became one of five centers for the national Neighborhood Jobs Initiative Demonstration. After extensive planning, the Neighborhood Jobs Initiative started full operation in Fort Worth's Near Northside in 2000. The Initiative is using a place-based approach to addressing the intermingled issues of culture, work, and intergenerational poverty by relying heavily on a network of cooperating community organizations with different specialties, including the Tarrant County College. The Initiative's initial objective has been to bring the level of adult employment among the heavily Latino neighborhood's residents to the level of the surrounding region over a period of several years while simultaneously working to increase the wages and quality of neighborhood residents' employment. Other areas on which the Initiative is placing special emphasis include encouraging more women to enter training and employment, improving residents' English, meeting the need for workers with computer skills, and managing the evolving program in a manner permitting quick response to new opportunities. As of mid-2001, the Initiative's APEX (Achieving Program Excellence) program had served roughly 200 people (about 2% of the neighborhood's population). (MN) (ERIC abstract)

  • Individual Author: Molina, Frieda; Howard, Craig
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Traditional employment programs have tried to address poverty by focusing on efforts that assist individuals. The Neighborhood Jobs Initiative (NJI) took a different approach. It sought to alleviate concentrated poverty by raising employment levels of entire neighborhoods to match the level prevailing in their metropolitan regions. NJI developers hypothesized that such concentrated efforts, if successful, would gradually transform low-income communities, representing a new approach to neighborhood revitalization. Community organizations with strong ties to neighborhood residents were engaged to lead these efforts. Each was charged with responsibility for identifying ambitious and concrete employment targets and mobilizing public and private partners to reach the targeted outcomes.

    Drawing upon the experiences of the lead community organizations during the initiative’s implementation phase, this third and final NJI report begins to answer the overarching questions first posed by MDRC and its funding partners: Is it possible to realize large employment outcomes in targeted...

    Traditional employment programs have tried to address poverty by focusing on efforts that assist individuals. The Neighborhood Jobs Initiative (NJI) took a different approach. It sought to alleviate concentrated poverty by raising employment levels of entire neighborhoods to match the level prevailing in their metropolitan regions. NJI developers hypothesized that such concentrated efforts, if successful, would gradually transform low-income communities, representing a new approach to neighborhood revitalization. Community organizations with strong ties to neighborhood residents were engaged to lead these efforts. Each was charged with responsibility for identifying ambitious and concrete employment targets and mobilizing public and private partners to reach the targeted outcomes.

    Drawing upon the experiences of the lead community organizations during the initiative’s implementation phase, this third and final NJI report begins to answer the overarching questions first posed by MDRC and its funding partners: Is it possible to realize large employment outcomes in targeted communities? Are community-based organizations (CBO) effective vehicles for mobilizing, brokering, and delivering employment programs to underemployed and unemployed residents of low-income communities? What programmatic elements appear to contribute to the goal of raising employment levels in targeted communities?

    Key Findings

    • Efforts to quantify precisely what was meant by “large employment outcomes” represented a turning point in the initiative and served as a catalyst for bringing partners to the table. Early attempts to implement the vision of NJI faltered when the sites used abstract goals related to the nature and level of expected employment gains. The lead CBOs were unable to convey to partners what scale of effort would be required to realize large outcomes, and they were unable to gauge progress along the way. Once the employment targets were identified and the partners understood and committed to these targets, it became easier for the CBOs to mobilize the levels of effort needed to reach a larger scale of employment outcomes.

    • To succeed in reaching community-level employment targets, NJI required an extraordinary effort by the CBOs and their partners. NJI required dedicated organizational, human, and financial resources to be successful. Distinct staff capacities were required at different stages of the initiative, and the lead organization had to be willing to give NJI priority over its other activities and be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of senior staff’s time to the effort.

    • CBOs with strong neighborhood connections are ideally suited for mobilizing residents and partners to achieve positive programmatic advantages. The quality of CBO relationships with neighborhood residents and knowledge of their employment barriers contributed to the type, quality, and accessibility of employment services offered, thereby improving early progress in reaching their employment targets.

    • The scale of operations achieved by NJI sites suggests that it is possible to raise employment rates in low-income neighborhoods. The initiative ended after just two years of program implementation, and none of the sites had achieved its five-year saturation targets within the time allocated. But early achievements suggest that a number of sites were on a trajectory to realize large outcomes, thereby changing the employment profiles of their respective communities.

    • A neighborhood-focused employment saturation strategy is not appropriate for all low income neighborhoods. The NJI experience suggests that more stable neighborhoods with strong local identities experience the greatest benefit from a place-based employment approach like NJI..
    (author abstract)

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