Location, Location, Location! Mobility and Opportunity in East King County

Emily Lieb brings us another research update from Seattle from the Access to Opportunity Project:

What’s in a neighborhood? Scholars (and realtors) agree: Where a person lives determines how much access to opportunity she has. Good schools, safe streets, high-quality housing that appreciates in value, accessible jobs and services, clean air and water—all of these things make it possible for people to do the best they can for themselves and their families. Poor schools, high crime rates, bad housing, an unhealthy environment, and relative inaccessibility do the opposite. Each one of these things is an obstacle standing between a family and its potential.

How do we know what works?

Lisa K. Bates, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Studies in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, updates us on research in the Access to Opportunity Project.

When thinking about assessing the impact of Humboldt Gardens’ GOALS program, which is the project‘s version of HUD‘s Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), it is useful to know the program‘s context. The concept of FSS is straightforward — parents participate in programming designed to promote employment and financial stability, working with a case manager to set goals.

Changing the Way Downtown Parks

Los Angeles Downtown News quoted Marlon Boarnet of the USC Price School on why developers pass the costs of building parking structures onto neighborhoods with zoning rules that include high minimum parking requirements. Zoning rules have been used across the country to mandate parking development, and that mindset hasn’t shifted much, despite new studies suggesting…

Searching for solutions to SoCal’s housing crisis, YIMBYs say ‘yes’ to development

KPCC-FM quoted Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center, on why increasing the number of housing developments at any price level is a good strategy for reducing housing costs across the market. YIMBY groups around the state, such as Abundant Housing, have registered their support for the legislation, arguing that increased housing will help…

The Power of One: Why do single women tend to fare better in FSS programs than their married counterparts?

By Alexandra Metz

Access to Opportunity researchers are engaging with families that take part in specialized programs for the recently homeless, and families taking part in a new cohort program designed specifically for single mothers, called the Power of One program.

Context Matters: Accessing Opportunity in Seattle’s Eastside Suburbs By Emily Lieb

By Emily Lieb

ARCH’s “sphere of influence” sits across Lake Washington from Seattle, one of the fastest growing  (and most expensive) cities in the country. In many ways, its member cities are stereotypical American suburbs: they’ve got quiet streets lined with single-family homes; well-funded, highly regarded schools; and commuter-clogged interstate highways.

The Great American Housing Finance System and the Role of the Federal Government

Housing is local, but money is global. What is the best way to allocate our resources toward housing affordability? How far are we from that goal? How do we even agree on what affordability means?

In this episode, our resident housing finance expert Richard K. Green will walk us step-by-step through these winding routes we’ve constructed to access the American dream.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcastsSoundcloud, or Google Play.

Changing Lives in a Changing Neighborhood

By Dr. Lisa K. Bates

Joining the Access to Opportunity team is bringing me into dialogue with amazing scholars and practitioners with deep understanding of policy systems, focusing on an under-studied context of west coast cities. I am looking forward to sharing the research from Portland as we complete this initial round of work. We are looking at Humboldt Gardens, a development of Home Forward (the Housing Authority of Portland), as a site for understanding low-income parents’ (mostly parents of color) strategies for accessing ‘opportunity’.

Home prices in parts of Southern California are at record highs — and keep rising

Los Angeles Times quoted Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center, on rising home prices in California. Economists said that absent a recession or a surge in mortgage rates, California home prices could keep climbing at 5% a year for the foreseeable future. That’s faster than the long-term average of 3% nationwide, but it’s…

What does self-sufficiency mean in the face of skyrocketing housing costs?

Dr. Shawn Flanigan, San Diego State University, shares the next installment of our blog on the Access to Opportunity Project. San Diego is consistently ranked among the least affordable housing markets in the United States, topping that list in 2015! Coming in at number two on the list in 2016. Rather than looking exclusively at housing costs, assessments of housing affordability consider housing costs in relation to how many residents of a community could afford to purchase a home at the median price. In 2015, real estate industry research showed that less than half of households could qualify to buy a median priced home in 93.3 percent of San Diego zip codes. This was the highest ratio of any city in the study.