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.
New housing mobility programs in Seattle and Philadelphia metro areas: The King County (Washington) Housing Authority has announced a plan to develop a new housing mobility counseling program for its Section 8 voucher families, in an effort to boost the academic performance of children. The program's goals include informing families about neighborhood and school quality when deciding to move, and reducing the number of moves during the school year that disrupt learning by helping families plan the timing of their relocation.
And in Philadelphia last month, HUD announced the funding of a new Housing Mobility Program covering the city and suburban housing authorities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The announcement was made by Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones at a large community meeting sponsored by the Southeast Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project and Building One Pennsylvania (the groups that have been working with HUD and local elected officials to help develop the program). Like the King County effort, this new program is also intended to expand low income children's access to lower poverty, higher performing schools. Read about the announcement here.
These types of programs are especially important in light of the findings in PRRAC's recent report, Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools? (November 2012). Also coming soon: Expanding Choice: Practical Strategies for Building a Successful Housing Mobility Program (a report and toolkit from PRRAC and the Urban Institute).
Post-Apartheid housing policy in South Africa: our current issue of Poverty & Race (coming in the mail next week) includes a fascinating article by Caroline Kihato, with some recognizable parallels to U.S. housing policy: "Beyond Bricks and Mortar: South Africa's Low-Cost Housing Program 18 Years After Democracy."
Other news and resources
From an ongoing working group on the racial impacts of the foreclosure crisis: Long Term Social Impacts and Financial Costs of Foreclosure on Families and Communities of Color: A Review of the Literature by James Carr and Katrin Anacker (sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition).
Upcoming conference: "Rodriguez at 40: Exploring New Paths to Equal Educational Opportunity," presented by the University of Richmond School of Law and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. Friday, March 8, 2013, University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, Virginia. More information here.
Poverty & Race Research Action Council