Catalyzing Neighborhood Revitalization through Strengthening Civic Infrastructure: Principles for Guiding Place-Based Initiatives

Catalyzing Neighborhood Revitalization through Strengthening Civic Infrastructure: Principles for Guiding Place-Based Initiatives. Urban Institute. Aaron Shroyer, Joseph Schilling, Erika C. Poethig. April 16, 2019

Place-based revitalization initiatives seek to make every neighborhood safe and healthy and to connect them to high-quality services. These initiatives share a few common characteristics. They concentrate resources in a specific geography; combine physical revitalization with the provision of services (e.g., health, education, and job training programs); leverage existing institutions, networks, and capital; and engage local leaders and residents. However, they have a mixed track record on whether and how much current residents benefit from such redevelopment. To address these and other limitations, more place-based initiatives are starting to marry physical revitalization with intentional efforts to build civic infrastructure. Civic infrastructure incorporates a broad view of community assets and therefore seeks to improve physical and civic assets as well as the processes, practices, and interactions those assets enable. By strengthening civic infrastructure, revitalizing physical assets can help create equitable outcomes for residents and increase community benefits. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages].

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Public Housing Work Requirements: Case Study on the Chicago Housing Authority

Public Housing Work Requirements: Case Study on the Chicago Housing Authority. Urban Institute. Diane K. Levy et al. April 16, 2019

This report presents a case study of the Chicago Housing Authority’s (CHA’s) work requirement policy, one of a small number of work requirements implemented by housing authorities. The report describes the CHA work requirement, the policy’s implementation and how it has changed, and perceptions of implementation and outcomes from key CHA and service provider staff and residents. The CHA work requirement has been in place for nearly 10 years, allowing us to analyze implementation over time and outcomes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 37 pages].

Innovative Financing Approaches for Affordable Rental Housing in the Chicago Region

Innovative Financing Approaches for Affordable Rental Housing in the Chicago Region. Urban Institute. Kathryn Reynolds, Leiha Edmonds, Erika C. Poethig. February 28, 2019

Solving America’s affordable housing crisis will mean increasing production of housing, protecting residents from eviction and foreclosure, and preventing the loss of current affordable housing stock.  For households unable to obtain housing benefits, unsubsidized “naturally occurring” rental housing provides the bulk of affordable housing in many markets. In the fall of 2018 Urban Institute conducted a series of interviews with staff from Community Investment Corporation (CIC), a community development financial institution (CDFI) in Chicago, the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development and non-profit firm, Elevate Energy. Based on these interviews, we present several strategies to preserve unsubsidized housing stock that are present as aspects in the CIC programs studied. These are proactive program development, responsiveness to local conditions, pursuit and leveraging of partnerships, and strategic use of federal, state, and local policy levers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 38 pages].

Partners or Pirates? Collaboration and Competition in Local Economic Development

Partners or Pirates? Collaboration and Competition in Local Economic Development. Urban Institute. Megan Randall et al. December 20, 2018

In this report, the authors explore how and why local governments have turned to cooperation to boost economic development. They synthesize highlights from the literature, explore program features from two regional case studies, and share findings from interviews with local practitioners. Although research on the effectiveness of current practices is limited, they identify themes that can inform cooperative economic development. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 67 pages].

Building beyond Policing: A Case Study of Eden Night Live in Alameda County, California

Building beyond Policing: A Case Study of Eden Night Live in Alameda County, California. Urban Institute. Cameron Okeke. September 25, 2018

 Key takeaway: How community parties have helped California sheriffs rethink public safety

This report describes how the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office used Eden Night Live, a community festival and pop-up marketplace, to creatively reimagine and rebuild community-police relations in Ashland/Cherryland. Through interviews with officers, community members, and staff, this case study examines how artistic performance, community participation, and community-based economic development can build local commerce, foster community cohesion, and change perceptions of public safety. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 42 pages].

Empowering Young People to Make Their Place: A Case Study of the Marcus Garvey Clubhouse in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Empowering Young People to Make Their Place: A Case Study of the Marcus Garvey Clubhouse in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Urban Institute. Mark Treskon, Sino Esthappan. September 25, 2018

 Key takeaway: Collaborative youth clubhouse changes perceptions of community safety

This report describes how the Marcus Garvey Clubhouse uses arts and culture to revitalize and reimagine community safety in a high crime, low income neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with program participants, program staff, and funders, this case study finds that actively engaging with the needs of youth and empowering them to design and program a community space can foster economic opportunities and enhance perceptions of neighborhood safety. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 32 pages].

Data Philanthropy: Unlocking the Power of Private Data for Public Good

Data Philanthropy: Unlocking the Power of Private Data for Public Good. Urban Institute. Brice McKeever et al. July 24, 2018

In the era of big data, private companies are accumulating information at an ever-increasing rate and are using the power of these data to derive greater and more detailed insights about all types of activity. Some companies are leveraging their data assets to improve public services and decision-making through the emerging field of data philanthropy. These companies responsibly share their data with researchers, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and the public to fill knowledge gaps and turn data into insights across a broad range of pressing and timely issues. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 50 pages].