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A Collaborative Framework for Eviction Prevention in DC

February 1, 2023

The DC Eviction Prevention Co-Leaders Group believes that cross-sector collaboration among legal services providers, housing counselors, District government agencies, the DC Superior Court, philanthropic organizations, tenant organizers, housing providers, tenants, advocates, and community-based organizations is crucial to preventing eviction, displacement, and homelessness. The overall goal of the Co-Leaders Group is to establish a cross-sector collaborative approach to prevent eviction and displacement of tenants in DC with low incomes and stabilize their housing for the future.DC's eviction moratorium expired in September 2021, after the DC Council implemented legislation phasing out tenant protections instituted during the pandemic, and eviction filings have steadily increased from the beginning of 2022. With fewer eviction protections and the end of STAY DC assistance—combined with high inflation, increased rent prices, stagnant wages, and the ongoing pandemic—eviction filings, judgments, writs, and scheduled evictions will likely continue to increase.Yet the evidence of the harmful effects of evictions on tenants is clear. Housing instability caused and made worse by evictions increases the risk of homelessness and hurts the health, education, and well-being of families with children. Increased homelessness from evictions leads to higher costs to the District for emergency shelter; medical services, particularly the use of emergency departments; and other social services. Evictions are also highly inequitable: decades of policies that restricted the jobs to which Black people had access, stripped families of their wealth, and prevented them from obtaining home loans have led to stark inequities in income and housing along racial lines. Black people in DC are more likely to be renters, face an eviction filing, and ultimately be physically evicted from their homes.Although tenants have more rights in DC than tenants in most other jurisdictions in the United States, there remains an inherent power imbalance in the landlord-tenant relationship. This is particularly true in DC's high-cost rental market, where safe, affordable housing is scarce for tenants with low incomes or those who are legally undocumented and fear retaliation. Landlords typically have legal representation in court and can better navigate the complex eviction process, which can be difficult for tenants to understand. Furthermore, eviction and the threat of eviction lead to immense trauma for tenants and their families, likely negatively affecting their mental and physical health.The goal of the Co-Leaders Group is to prevent avoidable evictions.

A Year of Learning: Educating the Philanthropic Community About Racialized and Stigmatized Nonprofits

October 1, 2022

The Muslim nonprofit sector is diverse and young, with many organizations established in the post-9/11 era. The Muslim nonprofit sector has been under scrutiny and faces discrimination in the form of Islamophobia. The racialized and stigmatized identity of Muslims has further increased the disconnect between the Muslim nonprofit sector and the philanthropic community. This report paper examines the work of the Year of Learning and its attempts to educate philanthropic leaders about the importance of engaging with racialized minorities including US Muslims. It raised the following questions: Why is there a lack of interaction between the racialized nonprofit sector and the foundation world? What are the challenges? This research suggests that the most powerful way to overcome these challenges is by engaging and educating both sides.

Quality Jobs Are a Choice: Why We Need to Think About Job Design

September 7, 2022

Recent estimates show that about one-third of jobs pay less than $15 an hour. Many of these jobs are associated with other job quality issues such as unpredictable schedules and a lack of opportunities for advancement. Low-quality jobs such as these are not inevitable, and neither are high-quality jobs that provide good compensation, the opportunity to advance and grow, and a workplace that promotes dignity and equity. Low-quality and high-quality jobs are the result of a variety of choices that are made in designing jobs.This issue brief reviews the history and current state of job design, highlights the benefits workers and businesses receive when jobs are designed with worker well-being in mind, and notes emerging issues and practices in job design related to technology, work-based learning, and employee ownership. We hope this brief sparks new thinking and conversations about how we can all encourage and contribute to designing work and workplaces that promote quality jobs.

Out of Reach 2022: The High Cost of Housing

July 28, 2022

This report highlights the mismatch between the wages people earn and the price of decent rental housing in every state, metropolitan area, and county in the U.S. The report also calculates the "Housing Wage" a full-time worker must earn to afford a rental home without spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs. This year's national Housing Wage is $25.82 per hour for a modest two-bedroom home at fair market rent and $21.25 per hour for a modest one-bedroom home.

Starting Up & Staying Out: Reducing Recidivism and Expanding Economic Options By Supporting Pathways to Entrepreneurship for Formerly Incarcerated New Yorkers

May 24, 2022

For many formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, entrepreneurship provides a meaningful pathway to economic opportunity. Strengthening support for reentry entrepreneurship offers policymakers one vital, yet largely untapped, opportunity to help far more returning New Yorkers succeed in reentry and beyond. This report investigates the current state of entrepreneurship among formerly incarcerated New Yorkers and what is needed to expand the number of successful new businesses launched by New York's reentry population.

The Living Standards Outlook 2022

March 8, 2022

This is our fourth Living Standards Outlook, exploring how household incomes and inequalities may change over the next five years, based on the latest economic forecasts and Government policy. We explore how Covid-19 has buffeted incomes over the last two years; what exceptionally high inflation, the conflict in Ukraine and policy changes will mean for UK living standards this year; and the longer-term prospects for recovery. Our projections use Bank of England and Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts for prices, wages, employment and more, but our modelling looks beyond averages to show what these aggregate forecasts could mean for real living standards across society.

Youth Policy: How Can We Smooth the Rocky Pathway to Adulthood?

December 6, 2021

While boosts in labor demand have helped young workers as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 recession, young people continue to grapple with a youth labor market that has been deteriorating for 20 years. Their prospects have been dimmed by three major recessions: the burst of the dot-com bubble (2001), the Great Recession (2007-2009), and the COVID-19 recession (2020). Further, long-term structural changes in the economy have favored older workers with more experience, training, and education while limiting opportunity for young workers.Youth Policy: How Can We Smooth the Rocky Pathway to Adulthood? examines the United States' fragmented and inadequate approach to youth policy against the backdrop of these economic pressures and recommends changes necessary to move toward a more comprehensive and holistic approach.

Responding to a Tax Time Crisis and Opportunity: Impact of a Rapid Response Campaign for LMI Households in Tax Season 2021

October 4, 2021

A report about Commonwealth's rapid response campaign to changes in the tax code in early 2021, intended as a guide on how to communicate complex policy changes to individuals and families who can benefit most from them, especially lower-income households.

Out of Reach 2021: The High Cost of Housing

July 14, 2021

Out of Reach documents the significant gap between renters' wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States. The report's central statistic, the Housing Wage, is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest rental home at HUD's fair market rent (FMR) without spending more than 30% of his or her income on housing costs, the accepted standard of affordability. The FMR is an estimate of what a family moving today can expect to pay for a modestly priced rental home in a given area.

The State of Economic Equity in Detroit

May 14, 2021

The State of Economic Equity in Detroit is a resource for those in the private and public sectors, foundations, nonprofits, community organizations, and residents to inform their actions to advance economic equity. These actions can include agenda setting, advocacy, policy, subject area research,  and goal-setting. Detroit Future City has identified 22 indicators across six focus areas. These indicators provide clear, measurable, and accurate data points that not only illustrate the current state of economic equity in Detroit, but can also be used to track economic equity over time. 

Producing, Protecting and Preserving Housing Affordability in Central Texas: Philanthropic Opportunities

May 1, 2021

Having a place to call home is essential not only for the wellbeing of individual families and community members, but also to ensure Central Texas' continued economic growth and success. The effectiveness of Austin's response to its housing affordability crisis will determine its future — and there is still time to prevent it from experiencing the woes of other regions and provide the platform for vibrant, diverse, and economically healthy communities. In recognition of this, the Austin Community Foundation commissioned this report with funding from JPMorgan Chase, National Instruments, and St. David's Foundation to increase funders' understanding of housingrelated issues and present ideas for consideration.

Race and the Work of the Future: Advancing Workforce Equity in the United States

January 1, 2020

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, massive job losses, rapidly evolving business models, and accelerating technological change are dramatically reshaping the US economy. This report, produced in partnership with Burning Glass Technologies and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, provides a comprehensive analysis of long-standing racial gaps in labor market outcomes, the economic impacts of Covid-19, and the racial equity implications of automation. It provides an in-depth analysis of disaggregated equity indicators and labor market dynamics, finding that White workers are 50 percent more likely than workers of color to hold good jobs and that eliminating racial inequities in income could boost the US economy by $2.3 trillion a year. In addition to detailed data analysis on the state of racial inequities in jobs and opportunity, the report offers a bold framework for action to advance workforce equity, where racial income gaps have been eliminated, all jobs are good jobs, and everyone who wants to work has access to family-supporting employment.