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Living Cities Blended Catalyst Fund Annual Report - 2023

October 28, 2023

Living Cities' Annual Report summarizes the collection of innovative investment approaches to address the racial wealth gap.This document is a great tool in our toolkit in demonstrating pathways, investment opportunities that support closing the racial wealth gap. It is a living example of continued work toward "how to" do the work toward the Business Case for Racial Equity.

IMPACT Report: Employment and Income Navigation Pilot Program

October 25, 2023

The Chicago Continuum of Care's (CoC) Employment and Income Task Force developed an intervention, the Employment and Income Navigation Pilot Program, to integrate employment navigators and SSI/SSDI SOAR advocates into the CoC'S Expedited Housing Initiative. The pilot has played a vital role in bringing together the workforce, homelessness, and disability benefits systems. To assess how the program was implemented during its 1st year, we conducted a comprehensive mixed methods evaluation using a combination of primary and secondary data sources. The evaluation brief provides valuable insights into the pilot program's impact and areas for improvement. Key findings revealed supporting jobseekers experiencing homelessness through employment navigators and SOAR advocates is of paramount importance. However, we also found communication obstacles, separate data systems, and the necessity of additional resources for sustainability. We formulated actionable recommendations to enhance the program's impact and offered guidance for future programs and evaluations.   

Addressing the Legacies of Historical Redlining: Correlations with Measures of Modern Housing Instability

January 24, 2023

"Redlining" of neighborhoods, one of a number of explicitly racist United States federal housing policies in the mid–twentieth century, blocked Black households and other communities of color from accessing home mortgages—and as a result homeownership—for decades. The practice has been linked to present day racialized neighborhood poverty and ongoing negative impacts on formerly redlined neighborhoods.In an attempt to address or mitigate decades of racist housing policies, some policymakers and jurisdictions are considering reparative policies and otherwise prioritizing Black households and others disenfranchised by past racist housing policies. Given the prominence of redlining maps and analyses that find associations between redlining and negative impacts on neighborhoods, some policy makers have focused on redlined areas as a criteria for qualifying for direct assistance.In this brief, we explore the extent to which historical redlining patterns correlate with current risk of housing instability. Using redlining maps for more than 200 cities digitized by the University of Richmond as a base and a number of instability indicators including the Urban Institute's Emergency Rental Assistance Priority (ERA Priority) Index, eviction filing data from the Eviction Lab, and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) data, we examine the extent to which redlined areas correlate with concentrations of people who are most at risk of housing instability. It is important to note that the overall practice of restricting access to housing based on race still happens today, but for the purposes of this brief, when we talk about redlining, we mean the legacy of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Health Starts at Home: Final Evaluation Report

June 1, 2021

Health Starts at Home was a multi-partner collaboration to improve child and family health for low-income families experiencing housing instability. The Boston Foundation funded four entities, each a partnership of at least one health-care and one housing organization, to design and implement programs to improve service delivery and reduce housing instability for participating families. The evaluators—Health Resources in Action and Urban Institute—tracked changes in these families' housing status, economic well-being, health status and health-care use for the caregivers and enrolled children at baseline, six-month, and 12-month follow-up surveys. The goal of the evaluation was to determine whether improvements in housing stability (achieved through delivery of the four Health Starts at Home program interventions) were associated with improvements in health-related outcomes. Survey data was supplemented by administrative data from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on the use of shelters and state rental assistance programs. 

Addressing the Intersections of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness: Working with Girls

March 1, 2017

Juvenile justice agencies, youth homelessness service providers, and other related stakeholders play an important role in addressing the unique needs of girls. Stakeholders can improve the outcomes for girls experiencing trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder through gender-responsive practices, and by implementing policies that are specific to the needs of girls who have experienced abuse and homelessness.

Addressing the Intersection of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness: Serving LGBTQ Youth

March 1, 2017

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and gender non-conforming (LGBTQ/GNC) youth experience increased levels of homelessness when compared to other peers and are also disproportionally more likely to be involved with the juvenile justice system. An estimated 20-40% of youth experiencing homeless are LGBTQ/GNC, as compared to 7-10% of the general youth population.

Addressing the Intersections of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness: Principles for Change

February 28, 2017

A young person's involvement with the justice system can increase their likelihood of later experiencing homelessness for many reasons, including the fact that educational disruptions and juvenile delinquency records can make it harder to obtain employment. Youth experiencing homelessness may also be swept into the juvenile justice system through laws that prohibit simply being in public spaces, such as juvenile curfews, or anti-sitting or sleeping ordinances. Both juvenile justice involvement and youth homelessness have long-term negative consequences. The Principles in Part I of this document provide a roadmap for communities to help young people avoid experiencing juvenile justice system involvement and/or youth homelessness.

Anatomy of a Preservation Deal

August 1, 2016

In 2013, the owner, the Melville Charitable Trust, selected Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. (POAH), to leverage investment for capital improvements while ensuring continued housing affordability and increasing resident services. POAH was able to structure the deal while educating partners on the process and timeline, and Melville remains involved as a special limited partner, focused on the property's Firebox Restaurant and Café and related job-training and resident service programs.

How Housing Matters: Chicago

June 16, 2016

Nearly half of Chicago adults (48%) and 40% of adults living in Chicago's suburbs report that they spend more than 30% of their income on housing--far more than the 31% of all U.S. adults who report paying such a high percentage of their income for housing. MacArthur's 2016 How Housing Matters Survey, which offers both national and Chicago-area data this year, reveals the prolonged housing affordability crisis has had a profound impact, with city residents, expressing worry at higher rates that "the worst is yet to come." Despite pessimism and insecurity about housing affordability, Chicago residents believe the situation is solvable: 70% of city residents think a great deal or fair amount can be done. For the situation to improve, they feel that it is very important (70%) for elected leaders in Washington, DC to address the problem of housing affordability. In addition to 1,200 adults interviewed across the nation between April 28 and May 10, Hart Research Associates also interviewed 303 adults in the City of Chicago and 300 adults in the Chicago suburbs. Findings from this representative sample of 603 Chicago Metro Area adults include: City residents, and African Americans across the Chicago metro region, are especially skeptical that the housing crisis is over.

Coordinating Collaboration To End Homelessness: A Mid-Point Learning Assessment Of The Reaching Home Campaign And Opening Doors-Connecticut

July 29, 2015

The Reaching Home Campaign was launched in 2004 with the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Connecticut. Through the adoption of the federal Opening Doors framework in 2011, the Reaching Home Campaign expanded its focus to build the political and civic will to prevent and end all forms of homelessness in Connecticut. The report identifies some key elements that have helped us sustain the Campaign over the arc of many years: the Campaign has energized and motivated a diverse group of stakeholders to work together to respond to a significant social problem, established strong internal structures to direct this energy, and kept its focus on advancing change in a few distinct strategy areas. As the report notes, three key actions that have made the Campaign a success so far are a) finding a clear shared purpose and defining clear goals to guide the Campaign, b) nurturing strong relationships with state officials, and 3) speaking with one voice in advocating for solutions. The report also highlighted areas the Campaign can build on, including further refining its collaborative structure, amplifying its communications, and expanding engagement of staff working at the front lines of service delivery and people who have experienced homelessness.