PRRAC Update  

May 3, 2012   




Welcome to the PRRAC Update!  Every other Thursday, PRRAC sends out a brief digest of news, recent publications, and other points of interest related to our work in housing, education, and health. We welcome feedback and encourage you to forward to others. To join the PRRAC email list, click here. 


Important new research on housing mobility from Doug Massey:  In the upcoming Poverty & Race, Princeton Professor Doug Massey presents a summary of new research on outcomes for families and children at Ethel Lawrence Homes, a low income housing development in a relatively affluent suburban town outside of Philadelphia (Mount Laurel).   Tracking residents over time, and comparing them with unsuccessful applicants from similar city neighborhoods, Massey found that the residents displayed higher rates of employment, larger share of income from work, greater total incomes, and lower rates of welfare dependency - while children experienced dramatically improved school quality and reduced exposure to school disorder and violence.


HUD's new Rental Assistance Demonstration:  This new HUD demonstration program will try out a funding alternative to support public housing preservation by "converting" current public housing operating funds to Section 8 project-based assistance.  The exciting thing about this program, from a civil rights perspective, is that tenants in the developments selected for the demonstration will have the option of switching their rental unit for a portable voucher and then moving to a rental unit in the private market (their original unit would then remain as public housing for another family to move in).  This freedom to move would give the same type of housing choices to public housing families that Section 8 voucher families currently enjoy.  See our coalition comments to HUD on this new program. 


Fifth National Conference on Assisted Housing Mobility:  Join PRRAC and the Urban Institute for a full day discussion of housing mobility research and policy on June 12 - with a focus on the Housing Choice Voucher Program, our largest federal housing program.  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will be delivering the keynote!   For more information go to  


PRRAC job posting: We are advertising for a new "Policy Counsel" position, with a preferred focus on education law and policy - see the announcement here.



Other news and resources


New from One Nation Indivisible: "Building a Better Southern Strategy in Multiracial Mississippi" describes the work of a multiracial political coalition led largely by African American legislators that made immigrants' rights a unifying civil rights cause and successfully turned back anti-immigrant legislation in the heart of the South.  


Two Decades Later, Children of the L.A. Riots Share Memories - interesting reflections from Colorlines.


Philip Tegeler

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, DC