To learn why the San Diego Housing Commission’s Achievement Academy – a suite of workforce development programs – is effective in supporting families receiving Section 8 vouchers, we continue conducting interviews in our longitudinal data collection with Achievement Academy families. Our conversations have put a spotlight on a key factor: a strong personal touch. The Section 8 recipients highly value the intensive, personal, positive interactions they have with Achievement Academy staff, and almost all of them point to positive outcomes that come from the personal investment of their “caseworkers”.
By Dr. Shawn Flanigan
As part of my interdisciplinary freshman Honors course at San Diego State University titled “Housing, Home, and Homeland,” I had my twenty-six students spend several weeks reading and discussing Matthew Desmond’s renowned book Evicted, and then gave them an assignment to code an interview from Access to Opportunity research in San Diego. As a culminating experience, we visited the Monarch School, an innovative K-12 school for homeless youth in downtown San Diego ….
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.
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.
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’.
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.
In our last post, which also happened to be our first post, we introduced the Access to Opportunity project, including the first set of studies that will be undertaken as part of our larger research goals. Though we didn’t state it, the choice of those projects was driven by a conceptual policy framework that evolved as we conducted our initial site visits in San Diego, Portland and Seattle.
by Dr. Raphael Bostic, President & Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Professor, University of Southern California, Price School of Public Policy and Sheryl Whitney, Partner, Whitney Jennings
by Dr. Raphael Bostic and Sheryl Whitney
Opportunity. It has become the buzz word for policymakers across the political spectrum. From Paul Ryan to Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump, everyone seems to trumpet the importance of Americans having access to good jobs, quality housing, strong education, healthy food, safe streets, clean air and water. But the more fundamental question is this: What can communities actually do to increase the likelihood that Americans have real access to opportunity?