PRRAC Update  

March 21, 2013    




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.    



"Out of Reach 2013":   Every year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes its "Out of Reach" report, which estimates the average family income needed to afford the average two bedroom rental cost in the United States.  The numbers provide a clear reminder of the extent of unmet housing needs.   This year, PRRAC Research Fellow Silva Mathema did a brief reanalysis of the NLIHC "Out of Reach" report by race and ethnicity.  We knew there would be a substantial disparity, but we didn't anticipate it would be as large as we found. Read our Policy Brief here.  Plus a blog post about the report here.    


HUD's Moving to Work (MTW) program:  HUD's MTW program, begun during the Clinton Administration, gives 39 selected Public Housing Agencies flexibility to deviate from HUD regulations and budgeting requirements.   One of the three statutory goals of the program was to "increase housing choices for low income families."  We decided to undertake an initial program review to see if MTW PHAs are achieving this goal.  We found that a few agencies were trying out small scale housing mobility efforts, but overall there is a lack of clarity about the meaning of the statutory goal, and no particular performance goals to measure progress. In the 2012 MTW NOFA, HUD took an initial step toward defining the "housing choices" goal in the context of optional choice-mobility programming. However, our report concludes that this definition should be more clearly stated to reflect fair housing goals, extended to all program participants, and accompanied by detailed guidance addressing best practices and outcome metrics.  Find our report here.  


"Can We Organize for Economic Justice Beyond Capitalism?" by LeeAnn Hall and Danny HoSang is the lead article in the new issue of Poverty & Race.  Also articles on immigration enforcement and lessons on school accountability from Wake County.    


United for a Fair Economy's annual State of the Dream report this year looks at wealth inequality among Black, Latino, and White families, and examines the role of housing in the persistence of our racial economic divide.




Philip Tegeler

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, DC