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].

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School District Funding in Virginia: Computing the Effects of Changes to the Standards of Quality Funding Formula

School District Funding in Virginia: Computing the Effects of Changes to the Standards of Quality Funding Formula. Urban Institute. Cary Lou et al. December 20, 2018

Virginia’s distinctive school funding formula is made up of multiple funding streams. Each program’s funding is generally determined based on the minimum cost of meeting program and staffing requirements, and responsibility for meeting these funding obligations is split between the state and districts. In the 2017 school year, the formula resulted in slightly progressive cost-adjusted funding across districts. Changes to the existing formula generally produce modest effects on equity measures and often involve committing additional resources. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 38 pages].

Strategies to Meet the Needs of Young Parent Families: Highlights from Interviews with 14 Programs

Strategies to Meet the Needs of Young Parent Families: Highlights from Interviews with 14 Programs. Urban Institute. Alan D. Dodkowitz, Yuju Park, Shayne Spaulding. September 18, 2018

 In 2013, there were nearly 4.6 million young parents between the ages of 18 and 24 in the United States, with approximately 80 percent (3.6 million) living with at least one of their children. These young parents face a host of challenges, ranging from difficulties accessing child care, higher rates of public benefit receipt, and troubles obtaining positive educational and employment outcomes. Despite these issues, there is no overarching strategy to improve the outcomes for young parents. The Urban Institute interviewed 14 different young parent providers across the nation serving a variety of subpopulations, to understand what strategies they used to serve this population. This paper provides an overview of the strategies used to serve young parents, including methods of providing improved education and employment services, connections to support services, and parenting workshops. This paper also highlights the perspectives of service providers on what approaches are needed to serve this population, as well as their views on the many challenges young parents face. This research highlights different methods of improving young outcomes for this population, implications for policy, and where further research should focus. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 30 pages].

Increasing Access to Quality Child Care for Four Priority Populations

Increasing Access to Quality Child Care for Four Priority Populations. Urban Institute. Julia R Henly, Gina Adams. October 9, 2018

 In recent decades, policymakers have increasingly focused on the importance of high-quality child care and early education services in supporting the development of low-income children. Though high-quality early care and education (ECE) can exist in any setting—including child care centers and home-based licensed and license-exempt settings—the emphasis on high-quality ECE services often translates into a singular focus on investing public funds in formal settings, especially center-based programs.

This report explores the implications of this trend in the context of the 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). It focuses on four priority populations: families with parents working nontraditional schedules, families with infants and toddlers, families living in rural areas, and families with children with disabilities and special needs. The center-based market is ill prepared to meet the needs of these four populations, yet together they make up a majority of low-income children with working parents and are a priority for the CCDBG.

The report provides data on the number of low-income children in each state who fall into these categories (except families with children who have special needs) and the proportion of those receiving subsidies who are cared for in child care centers. It also discusses the barriers to care for these populations, lays out state policy strategies to increase access to high-quality care across the full range of settings for these children, and highlights key gaps in our knowledge as to how to best support access to quality for these families. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 82 pages].

How Should Social Security Adjust When People Live Longer?

How Should Social Security Adjust When People Live Longer? Urban Institute. C. Eugene Steuerle, Damir Cosic. August 20, 2018

 As people live longer, they spend more time in retirement, straining Social Security’s finances. This brief outlines the implications of three approaches to adjusting Social Security for longer lives: making no adjustment, which has applied over most of Social Security’s history; keeping constant the expected number of retirement years; and keeping constant the relative share of life in retirement. Compared to age 65 retirement in 1940, people under each rule would retire in 2100 at age 65, 79, and 76, respectively. The brief also shows how these calculations can be done under different assumptions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 6 pages].

The Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey: A New Data Source for Monitoring the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Families

The Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey: A New Data Source for Monitoring the Health and Well-Being of Individuals and Families. Urban Institute. Michael Karpman, Stephen Zuckerman, Dulce Gonzalez. August 28, 2018

 In December 2017, the Urban Institute launched the Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey (WBNS) to monitor changes in individual and family health and well-being at a time when policymakers seek significant changes to programs that help low-income families pay for food, health care, housing, and other basic needs. The new annual survey is a key component of the Institute’s From Safety Net to Solid Ground project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other foundations.

This report describes the design and content of the WBNS. To assess the capacity of the WBNS to produce nationally representative estimates for the nonelderly adult population, we also report findings from a benchmarking analysis in which we compare estimates from the WBNS with estimates from established federal surveys. We find that, despite some discrepancies, most indicators based on data from the WBNS are reasonably consistent with measures from larger federal surveys, suggesting the WBNS data will serve as a credible source of information for analyses of health and well-being within the Safety Net to Solid Ground project. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 23 pages].

Local Workforce Development Boards and Child Care

Local Workforce Development Boards and Child Care. Urban Institute. Gina Adams, Semhar Gebrekristos. August 8, 2018

 Many low-income Americans face challenges in the job market because of inadequate education and job skills and low-income parents face particular challenges enrolling in activities to improve their skills and education levels because of the lack of affordable, quality child care. Local workforce development boards (LWDBs) set policies for and oversee a set of workforce programs and services funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). As such, they are the front line for low-income parents who need education and training. This report provides insights into how LWDBs can help address child care barriers by presenting findings from interviews with administrators from five LWDBs across the country (Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development in Colorado, CareerSource of Broward County in Florida, Northern Indiana Workforce Board, Workforce Solutions of Central Texas, and North Central SkillSource in Washington). Although not representative of the actions of all LWDBs, each of the five sites had a broad vision of the importance of child care, understood the multifaceted benefits of child care across generations and how it fit their mission, and discussed the role child care plays for employers and the economy. We found that LWDBs can play an important role in meeting the child care needs of their parent clients and supporting child care in their communities, but they are constrained by funding limitations and an inadequate child care market. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 40 pages].