Renovating Subsidized Housing: The Impact On Tenants’ Health
Many public and subsidized housing developments in the US are aging and in need of significant repairs. Some observers worry that their poor condition threatens the health of residents. This study evaluated a recent renovation of public housing that was undertaken through the transfer of six housing developments from the New York City Housing Authority to a public-private partnership. It examined whether the renovation and transfer to private managers led to improvements in tenants’ health over three years, as measured by Medicaid claims. While it did not find significant improvements in individual health outcomes, it found significant relative improvements in overall disease burden when measured using an index of housing-sensitive conditions.
Migration Choices of the Boomerang Generation: Does Returning Home Dampen Labor Market Adjustment?
This paper shows that boomerang moves (returning to live with one's parents) are more likely to bring young adults to labor markets with higher unemployment and lower wages and the likelihood of a non-boomerang location being chosen by a young adult increases with local wages.
Do Housing Vouchers Improve Academic Performance? Evidence from New York City
This paper examines whether—and to what extent—housing vouchers improve educational outcomes for students whose families receive them. Using data from New York City, the nation's largest school district, the authors match over 88,000 school‐age voucher recipients to longitudinal public school records. Results indicate that students in voucher households perform better in both English Language Arts and Mathematics in the years after they receive a voucher.
The Effects of Small Area Fair Market Rents on the Neighborhood Choices of Families with Children
This paper reports and extends the quantitative findings of the Small Area Fair Market Rent Demonstration Evaluation, focusing on the important subgroup of families with children. The authors test whether varying housing assistance subsidy caps with ZIP Code rent levels (that is, introducing Small Area Fair Market Rents or SAFMRs) increases the likelihood that voucher-holder families with children locate in higher opportunity neighborhoods, as proxied by poverty rates, the proficiency levels of local elementary schools, jobs proximity, and environmental hazards. Five years after implementation, Small Area FMRs do not appear to affect overall move rates, but they meaningfully affect the locational outcomes among families with children who move.
Do Vouchers Protect Low-Income Households from Rising Rents?
Using restricted administrative data on the voucher program, the authors examine the experience of voucher holders in metropolitan areas with rising rents. While some of the authors' models suggest that rising rents in metropolitan areas are associated with a slight increase in rent-to-income ratios among voucher holders, poor renters in general see significantly larger increases in rent-to-income ratios. The authors see little evidence that rising rents push voucher holders to worse neighborhoods, with voucher holders in central cities ending up in lower-poverty neighborhoods as rents rise. It appears that vouchers may help low-income households remain in neighborhoods as they gentrify.
Updating CRA Geography: It’s Not Just About Assessment Areas
In his recent paper, “Updating CRA Geography: It’s Not Just About Assessment Areas,” NYU Furman Center Senior Policy Fellow Mark A. Willis offers his suggestions on how to effectively modernize one crucial regulation authorized under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Published by the Penn Institute for Urban Research, the paper proposes a method to evaluate the CRA performance of large retail internet banks.
The core of the proposal involves separately weighing a bank’s CRA activity both within its AA from its CRA activities beyond the AA, with the latter evaluation consisting of tests for both the bank’s retail products and community development activities to ensure they are meeting the needs of Low and Moderate Income Households. By combining these evaluations together, the paper asserts that banks will be more confident in their ability to get CRA credit for conducting CRA activities in areas of high need that may be outside their AA.
Gentrification And The Health Of Low-Income Children In New York City
Although the pace of gentrification has accelerated in cities across the US, little is known about the health consequences of growing up in gentrifying neighborhoods. This study used New York State Medicaid claims data to track a cohort of low-income children born in the period 2006–08 for the nine years between January 2009 and December 2017. It compared the 2017 health outcomes of children who started out in low-income neighborhoods that gentrified in the period 2009–15 with those of children who started out in other low-income neighborhoods, controlling for individual child demographic characteristics, baseline neighborhood characteristics, and preexisting trends in neighborhood socioeconomic status.
HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule: A Contribution and Challenge to Equity Planning for Mixed Income Communities
“What Works to Promote Inclusive, Equitable Mixed-Income Communities” is the fifth volume in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s What Works series. This essay by Faculty Director Katherine O'Regan and Distinguished Fellow Ken Zimmerman provides a brief background on the legal basis of HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, explains the framework and theory behind the rule, and describes how a rule aimed at overcoming racial segregation can support the creation and preservation of mixed-income communities. The essay lay out key details of the rule and how they connect to more equitable and inclusive planning, and highlights potential connections and tensions for mixed-income strategies within the context of the rule. It then assesses the early experience of the AFFH approach, and the threat posed by HUD’s current suspension of the rule. The piece concludes with a discussion of implications for action (or at least attention) with respect to the rule, particularly with respect to mixed-income strategies.
Open Access School Climate and the Impact of Neighborhood Crime on Test Scores
Does school climate ameliorate or exacerbate the impact of neighborhood violent crime on test scores? Using administrative data from the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Police Department, this study finds that exposure to violence in the residential neighborhood and an unsafe climate at school lead to substantial test score losses in English language arts (ELA). Middle school students exposed to neighborhood violent crime before the ELA exam who attend schools perceived to be less safe or to have a weak sense of community score 0.06 and 0.03 standard deviations lower, respectively. The study finds the largest negative effects for boys and Hispanic students in the least safe schools, and no effect of neighborhood crime for students attending schools with better climates.
Neighbors and networks: The role of social interactions on the residential choices of housing choice voucher holders
This study considers the role of information and social influence in determining the effective set of potential housing choices for participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It finds that pairs of voucher participants in close proximity are 40% more likely to move to the same neighborhood than pairs that live more than 1,000 feet apart, and that the neighborhoods selected by close proximity pairs are likely to be more economically disadvantaged by several measures. These findings were magnified in tight rental markets, and in highly segregated cities.