The importance of strong “personal touch” relationships in housing services

by Shawn Flanigan

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”.

Complications and Contradictions in a Changing Neighborhood

by Lisa Bates

The corridor of gleaming high rises along Vancouver and Williams Avenues is a marked change from the early 2000s. When the Housing Authority of Portland (now known as Home Forward) applied for HOPE VI funds for the old Iris Court development, it was known as a rough area. Residents who lived there, or who knew of it by reputation …

The benefits of partnering with local universities

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 ….

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.

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.