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HUD’s new Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition (IAH) is off to an exciting start. Launched in January 2014 by the Office of Policy Development... Read More

 

The Surprising Effects of Gender on Youth Mental Health

Previous issues of PD&R’s The Edge have featured articles about the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration, which helped poor families in public or private assisted housing in high-poverty neighborhoods move to lower-poverty neighborhoods. A study by Ronald Kessler and colleagues that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in March 2014 uses MTO data to show that relocating to low-poverty neighborhoods affects the mental health of poor youth in surprising ways.

The MTO demonstration assigned participating families by lottery to one of three groups. Families in the experimental group received a voucher that could be used only for housing in low-poverty areas, families in the Section 8 group received ordinary housing vouchers that could be used anywhere, and families in the control group received no special assistance from MTO but continued to be eligible for whatever services and assistance they had before. A little under half of the families in the experimental group and just under two-thirds of those in the Section 8 group actually moved. The lottery process allows researchers to study the effects of moving to a low-poverty neighborhood while controlling for external factors such as differences among the families and other external factors such as the effects of the economy. The 2001 and 2011 follow-up surveys of more than 4,000 MTO families have generated a number of important papers about how neighborhood poverty affects families.

Each MTO family was randomly assigned to one of the three groups between 1994 and 1998. Between the time of random assignment and May 2008, the average control group household in the average month lived in a neighborhood in which 40 percent of the population lived at or below the federal poverty level.

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Research
Housing Needs and Socioeconomic Conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives

To better understand the demographic, socioeconomic, and housing conditions of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian populations in the United States,HUD published an interim report that includes study data on the demographics of these populations as well as their socioeconomic and housing conditions.

In Practice
Germantown Village Provides Infill Affordable Rental Housing in Dayton

Dayton, Ohio faces high rates of vacancy and blight, the result of a major loss of manufacturing jobs over the past several decades that have reduced the city’s population to 140,000 – about half of what it was in 1973.

HUD Partner Reports
The Kresge Foundation's Social Impact Transactions

David Osborne and Ted Gaebler’s 1993 book Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit Is Transforming the Public Sector was acclaimed for lighting the way to a smarter, leaner government. One of the book’s key points is that governments should “stop rowing and start steering.” In today’s conversation about the merits of pay-for-performance models, the public sector has the opportunity to do exactly that...

Policy Update
Targeting Strategies for Neighborhood Development

A critical component of efforts to combat vacancy and redevelop cities is determining how best to allocate limited funds. Many managers and researchers agree that simply distributing dollars evenly among a city’s neighborhoods or focusing only on its very worst neighborhoods will usually yield only small improvements that do not spur enough private investment to improve overall conditions.

Statistical Reports
Housing Scorecard for March 2014
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The data in the March 2014 Scorecard show progress among key indicators. In February, foreclosure starts continued their downward trend and house prices were stable. Newly initiated foreclosures, at 51,842 U.S. properties, were down 9 percent from January and 27 percent from one year ago--reaching their lowest level since December 2005.

 

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