News & Event
OCTOBER 09, 2018
The Census Bureau, in conjunction with Raj Chetty and Nathan Hendren from Harvard University and John Friedman from Brown University, unveiled its “Opportunity Atlas” on October 1, which provides unprecedented neighborhood-level data showing where children have the best chance of climbing the income ladder as adults. Through an interactive map, users can search any neighborhood in the country.
Researchers looked at the adult earnings of over 20 million children and used census/tax data that linked each child with his/her parents. This linkage enabled researchers to trace outcomes (such as adult earnings and incarceration rates) to the neighborhoods in which the children were raised. Almost all children born in America between 1978 and 1983 are covered. Prior efforts provided this information at the county level, but the newest Opportunity Atlas now makes it available at the neighborhood level, which could enable policymakers to formulate approaches street-by-street, block-by-block. Overall, the data reveal that the neighborhoods in which children grow up have a substantial causal effect on their chances of upward income mobility as adults.
“Children who grow up a few miles apart in families with comparable incomes have very different life outcomes,” the study’s authors explain. “Moving to a better neighborhood earlier in childhood can increase a child’s income by several thousand dollars.”
On average, these higher-opportunity neighborhoods are more expensive, but there are several areas that researchers labeled “opportunity bargains” that produce solid outcomes without extremely high rents (note: researchers deemed “affordable” neighborhoods as those that have two-bedroom median rents under $1,500 per month).
Just because a neighborhood has positive outcomes for one racial group, however, does not mean it has equally positive outcomes for other racial groups. Earnings and incarceration rates can vary dramatically for white, black, and Hispanic men even when they are raised in the same neighborhoods. White men experience better upward income mobility than black men virtually everywhere in the country. Both white and black boys experience better outcomes in low-poverty neighborhoods, but the gaps persist. This persistent disparity suggests that race in and of itself plays a significant role – differences in outcomes cannot be explained by just neighborhoods or parental income alone.
This robust and nuanced data set could inform the decision-making of policymakers, practitioners, and advocates, particularly in terms of housing policy. For example, when complemented with current local indicators, these data could help reveal whether housing voucher holders are segregated into areas offering little upward mobility. The data could help pinpoint the siting of new affordable housing developments in neighborhoods that offer stronger outcomes, and they could help identify persistently struggling neighborhoods that require deeper and more prolonged interventions.
Please follow the Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable housing campaign on all social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Courtesy of National Low Income Housing Coalition
NLIHC announced the honorees of the 2018 Housing Leadership Awards who will be recognized at NLIHC’s annual Leadership Awards Reception in Washington, DC on March 20, 2018. The honorees are U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME); Lisa Hasegawa, former executive director of the National Coalition for Asian and Pacific American Community Development and NLIHC board member; and Matthew Desmond, PhD, MacArthur Genius Awardee and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.
Senator Collins will receive the 2018 Edward W. Brooke Housing Leadership Award for her years of leadership in Congress, unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of the lowest income people in the U.S., and steadfast support for federal affordable housing and homelessness programs. The Brooke Award is named for the late Senator Brooke (R-MA), who championed low income housing as a U.S. senator and as chairman of the NLIHC Board of Directors after he left the Senate. The Brooke award goes to an exemplary housing leader with a record of fighting for affordable housing on the national level.
Ms. Hasegawa will receive the 2018 Cushing Niles Dolbeare Lifetime Service Award for her years of dedication to affordable housing on behalf of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The Dolbeare Award, named after NLIHC’s late founder who has been referred to as the “godmother” of the affordable housing movement, goes to an individual who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to achieving safe, decent and affordable homes for low income people over a long period of time.
Dr. Desmond will receive the Sheila Crowley Housing Justice Award in 2018 for his groundbreaking work to elevate the need for affordable housing for the lowest income people in America. The Crowley Award, named for former NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley, goes to an outstanding leader who has elevated the conversation around affordable housing for those most in need.
Please make a Leadership Award Reception sponsorship donation honoring these outstanding leaders and supporting NLIHC’s mission of promoting socially just public policy to ensure the lowest income people in America have decent, affordable homes. To register for the 2018 Leadership Reception at which Ms. Collins, Ms. Hasegawa, and Dr. Desmond will be recognized, contact Christina Sin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship donations can be made at: http://bit.ly/2fSOtEH
The NLIHC-led Hurricane Housing Recovery Coalition drafted a new sign-on letter this week urging Congress and HUD to ensure that Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) resources be targeted towards housing for the lowest income people who have the greatest recovery needs.
Specifically, it urges that HUD:
These recommendations are in keeping with current CDBG-DR regulations, but some have encouraged HUD to waive the requirements. Doing so would make the recovery process even more difficult for low income individuals and families who have already been disproportionally impacted by recent disasters.
Please sign your organization onto this letter calling for equitable disaster recovery and the continuation of current regulations around the use of CDBG-DR funds.
The deadline to sign is Thursday, October 19.
Learn about how residents of affordable housing are making their voices heard in communities across the country.
Produced by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Tenant Talk is a semi-annual newsletter created to engage residents in housing advocacy and to highlight innovative approaches and recent victories in communities throughout the United States.
Download this issue of Tenant Talk
In this issue of Tenant Talk, readers will explore how resident organizations are taking action to raise the profile of the affordable housing movement and how debates about the federal budget and tax reform will impact communities.
You can also sign up to receive Tenant Talk through the mail for free. To have Tenant Talk sent to you directly, fill out the form here: http://nlihc.org/library/tenanttalk/signup.
Readers of this issue of Tenant Talk will also enjoy spotlight articles on resident organizing that include features on New York City’s passage of new protections for low income residents facing eviction and how the city of Seattle is making housing more accessible for citizens who have been involved with the criminal justice system.
Of course, Tenant Talk will also cover key policy updates. In this edition you will find articles on the federal budget, delays in the implementation of Small Area Fair Market Rents, new projects funded through the national Housing Trust Fund, and how recent climate disasters impacted affordable homes.
Download Tenant Talk today, or sign up to have it delivered to your door for free.
You can support the continued production of Tenant Talk and other NLIHC resources by becoming a member. NLIHC is a membership organization open to individuals, organizations, corporations, and government agencies.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced its decision to protect funding for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) in 2018!
FHFA’s decision is an important step forward, but far more resources are needed. Join NLIHC and nearly 1,300 organizations from across the country by signing onto a national letter urging Congress to expand the HTF to reach more people in need of affordable, accessible homes.
Funding for the HTF was at risk due to the recently enacted tax bill, which caused a devaluation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the enterprises’) tax deferred assets and forced the enterprises to need a draw from the Treasury Department. Under federal law, the FHFA has the broad authority to suspend contributions to the HTF if it would have a negative impact on the financial stability of the enterprises. In January, NLIHC sent a letter to FHFA making the case that the financial stability of the enterprises were not at issue under these unique circumstances and that contributions to the HTF should be continued.
FHFA’s decision to protect the HTF will allow states and communities to continue to use this critical resource in the coming year to help address the severe shortage of affordable rental homes for the lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
To date, nearly $400 million has been allocated to the states through the HTF to help them address the shortage of 7.4 million rental homes affordable and available to families with extremely low incomes. NLIHC research finds that for every 100 of the lowest income people, there are just 35 affordable homes available to them. As a result, 71% of these households pay more than half of their limited incomes on rent, forcing them to make impossible trade-offs between paying their rent and buying groceries, visiting their doctor, saving for a rainy day, or investing in their children’s education.
See NLIHC’s press statement commending FHFA for its decision at: http://bit.ly/2GcIJNE
NLIHC applauds FHFA for protecting the HTF and will continue to engage stakeholders, advocates, and Congress to expand this vital program to help it reach more people in need of affordable homes.
You can support this effort by signing onto the national letter — signed by nearly 1,300 organizations — urging Congress to expand the HTF to at least $3.5 billion annually through housing finance reform legislation.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
Report Shows National Shortage of More Than 7.2 Million Affordable & Available Rental Homes for Families Most in Need
NLIHC released today its report The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, which finds a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low income (ELI) renter households, those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30% of their area median income. The report calls for increasing investments in affordable housing programs for the lowest income households like the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and public housing, and for expanding and improving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit so it serves more ELI households.
Washington, DC – A diverse range of organizations from various sectors announced a new campaign today to increase affordable housing for America’s most vulnerable communities.
The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign launched today at the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC’s) Housing Policy Forum in Washington, DC. With financial support from the Funders for Housing and Opportunity, NLIHC launched this new multi-sector affordable homes campaign together with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Children’s HealthWatch, Make Room, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and with a steering committee that includes Catholic Charities USA, Children’s Defense Fund, Community Catalyst, Food Research and Action Center, NAACP, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Education Association, and UnidosUS.
Stakeholders from multiple sectors are increasingly recognizing the importance of affordable housing to their own priorities and goals. The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign seeks to mobilize powerful new constituencies beyond housing to ensure that people with the lowest incomes have access to safe, decent, affordable housing in neighborhoods where everyone has equitable opportunities to thrive.
Recent NLIHC research shows the U.S. has a shortage of 7.2 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income (ELI) renters, and 11 million ELI renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on housing. There are only 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 ELI households nationwide, and no state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters. Just one out of four eligible low income households receives federal housing assistance.
The consequences of America’s affordable housing crisis are spilling over into many other areas like the education, health care, civil rights, anti-hunger, homelessness, and anti-poverty sectors. By combining voices and expertise, leading organizations from these sectors seek to build a broad national movement that promotes federal policies that protect and expand affordable housing.
The long-term goals of the campaign are to promote federal policies that:
The campaign will also act to defend against funding cuts and harmful policy changes in existing low income housing programs.
Opportunity Starts at Home is also working to strengthen the capacities of multi-sector state coalitions that share the campaign’s goals. The campaign has already issued capacity-building grants to partners in seven states: California, Idaho, Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Utah.
“The time to act is now,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO. “The housing affordability problem has reached historic heights. Federal housing assistance is chronically underfunded and faces increasing threats. It’s time for those who believe that everyone in America deserves a safe and affordable home to join in a movement that will ensure fundamental opportunities for people most in need.”
“UnidosUS is dedicated to improving opportunities for Latinos and we’re especially proud of our work over the past 50 years to empower Latinos to contribute and to share in the nation’s economic opportunities,” said Eric Rodriguez, UnidosUS vice president for policy and advocacy. “A good home is the foundation for many of those opportunities: a better education for our children, enhanced employment opportunities, and a safe and stable place for families to live. We joined Opportunity Starts at Home because too many hardworking families struggle to keep a roof over their heads and it will take all sectors of society to make progress and ensure that more Americans, including Latinos, have a place to call home.”
“The United States cannot say we cherish our children when millions of extremely poor children each year suffer through homelessness or are denied access to safe and affordable housing,” said Richard Hooks Wayman, national executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund. “Research shows that half of our intelligence potential is developed by age four. Positive child development is linked to a sense of safety, predictability, and routines. We must do our part to ensure that children have housing stability during a critical stage of development. We must do our part to ensure that housing in this nation is affordable and accessible. And we must do our part to ensure that investments in affordable housing production that keep children safe and secure is continued.”
“NAMI is proud to be a part of this multi-sector housing campaign because access to decent, safe and affordable housing is a critical need for people living with a mental illness,” said Andrew Sperling, director of legislative and policy advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “It is simply not possible to achieve recovery and a full life in the community without stable housing. Given the current threats to rental assistance programs it is critical that NAMI joins with our partners across so many diverse sectors to fight for policies and future investments in affordable rental housing programs.”
“NEA is committed to the three million members and the 50 million students we serve and are pleased to support programs, campaigns and initiatives that are in support of students, educators and families,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association. “We understand and know firsthand the impacts affordable and stable housing have on student success. We also know that given the wages and income of some of our members, it impacts where they work as well as their own families.”
“The NAACP is proud to join this multi-sector housing campaign as it aligns with our goal of economic equality in housing,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “The research is increasingly clear that housing affects all aspects of a quality life; therefore, federal housing policy is very important for the people we serve. We find that threats to federal housing assistance are unprecedented and this campaign will indeed shed a brighter light on the needs of all people.”
“Housing affordability is one of the greatest challenges facing our nation. It limits economic mobility, reinforces racial inequities, reduces health and education outcomes, and is a primary driver of homelessness in the United States,” said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign brings together an unprecedented multi-sector coalition, focused on increasing critically needed federal investments in affordable housing. We are honored to be part of this important effort.”
“No one should be without a safe and stable home, which is why the Opportunity Starts at Homecampaign is so critical, especially now,” said Ali Solis, president and CEO of Make Room Inc. “By partnering with organizations from the healthcare, housing and education sectors who share our mission, Make Room hopes to accelerate our goal of creating a country where everyone has a home that they can afford. We are honored to be part of this important campaign.”
“Too often, the issues of housing, health, education and income security are considered in silos, separate from one another,” said Doug Rice, senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “But a home is much more than just four walls and a roof; it’s the pathway to a healthier, more prosperous, and more secure life, and something that far too many Americans cannot attain. We are excited to join forces with leaders in so many fields to advance effective solutions to help our nation’s most vulnerable.”
“A stable, affordable home is a prescription for good health,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, principal investigator with Children’s HealthWatch. “Children’s HealthWatch is excited to join our colleagues on the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign to identify solutions that provide access to safe, decent, affordable housing in neighborhoods where everyone has equitable opportunities to thrive.”
Learn more about the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign at: www.OpportunityHome.org
Opportunity Starts at Home is a new national multi-sector campaign to generate widespread support for federal policies that protect and expand affordable housing.
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
Courtesy of Opportunity Starts at Home, NLIHC
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