Urban Institute

Urban Institute Elevating the debate on social and economic policy. Urban Institute: Elevate the debate. Founded in 1968 to understand the problems facing America’s cities and assess the programs of the War on Poverty, the Urban Institute brings decades of objective analysis and expertise to policy debates — in city halls and state houses, Congress and the White House, and emerging democracies around the world.

Operating as usual

"If you’re constantly in the cycle of eviction, you likely don’t have stable Wi-Fi (if you have Wi-Fi at all).... You al...
06/30/2021
With Just a Month Left of the Eviction Moratorium, Many Mom-and-Pop Landlords and Tenants Are Still Unaware of Federal Rental Assistance

"If you’re constantly in the cycle of eviction, you likely don’t have stable Wi-Fi (if you have Wi-Fi at all).... You also likely don’t have the luxury of time to read about [emergency rental assistance programs]."

New survey data found that many landlords and tenants are still unaware of the assistance, and confusion about how to access it abounds.

From Tax Policy Center: Should income tax dollars support where you work or where you live? By declining to hear a dispu...
06/29/2021
Supreme Court Punts on State Tax Question About Remote Work

From Tax Policy Center: Should income tax dollars support where you work or where you live? By declining to hear a dispute between two New England states, SCOTUS maintains the current rule of "it depends."

Today the Supreme Court announced it will not resolve a key question of state taxation: Should income tax dollars support where you work or where...

"Extending the federal moratorium for an additional 30 days is a good start, but it remains to be seen whether that exte...
06/24/2021
The End of the National Eviction Moratorium Will Be Costly for Everyone

"Extending the federal moratorium for an additional 30 days is a good start, but it remains to be seen whether that extension will be enough & whether emergency rental assistance resources will be available at the scale needed by the end of next month."

What can jurisdictions do to prevent a wave of evictions?

New blog post: 3 things policymakers should know about low-density infill’s role in fixing Los Angeles’s housing supply ...
06/23/2021
Low-Density Infill’s Role in Fixing Los Angeles’s Housing Supply Shortage

New blog post: 3 things policymakers should know about low-density infill’s role in fixing Los Angeles’s housing supply shortage.

Three characteristics about the city’s low-density housing stock can help policymakers evaluate whether, when, where, and how to encourage private developers to build more infill housing.

George Derek Musgrove: "Segregation is first and foremost a product of public policy, and we always have to remember tha...
06/23/2021
Combating the Legacy of Segregation in the Nation’s Capital

George Derek Musgrove: "Segregation is first and foremost a product of public policy, and we always have to remember that."

Peace Gwam and Mychal Cohen Washington, DC, has experienced population and economic booms over the past two decades, but the benefits of this growth have not been equitable for long-term Black residents, who created the culture that formed the base for this revival. These residents, who remained in....

Reimagining grantmaking infrastructure so small organizations led by people of color have equitable access to grants is ...
06/22/2021
To Advance Racial Health Equity, Fund Organizations Led by and for People of Color

Reimagining grantmaking infrastructure so small organizations led by people of color have equitable access to grants is one way governments could advance equity & support for underserved communities.

Reimagining grantmaking infrastructure so small organizations led by people of color have equitable access to grants is just one way government can further racial equity.

"In the long term, bold policymaking can build a stronger ECE system that meets the needs of all children & families & s...
06/21/2021
Using a Consensus-Style Approach to Synthesize the Evidence on the Effects of the COVID-19 Crisis on Young Children and Early Care and Education Programs

"In the long term, bold policymaking can build a stronger ECE system that meets the needs of all children & families & supports all ECE programs & teachers to provide the high-quality learning opportunities young children need to thrive."

How can policymaking build a stronger early childhood education system that meets the needs of all children, families, programs, and teachers?

Steven Brown: "We cannot fully appreciate the significance of Juneteenth without acknowledging the enduring racial inequ...
06/19/2021
Reflections on Juneteenth and the Stalwart March to Victory

Steven Brown: "We cannot fully appreciate the significance of Juneteenth without acknowledging the enduring racial inequalities... Although no longer in bo***ge, the hope of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness have yet to be fully realized for people of African descent who call this land home."

Steven Brown, Research Associate

An analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data shows flat-out rejection of buyers seeking government-backed loans disa...
06/16/2021
The Tight Housing Market Boxes Out Government-Insured Borrowers, Widening Homeownership Gaps

An analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data shows flat-out rejection of buyers seeking government-backed loans disadvantages households with lower incomes, lower credit scores, & less wealth, many of whom are people of color.

Data show that flat-out rejection of buyers seeking government-backed loans disadvantages households with lower incomes, lower credit scores, and less wealth, many of whom are people of color.

Researchers and analysts aren't the only ones in the research pipeline who can help make research more equitable and inc...
06/10/2021
Three Ways Gatekeepers Can Further Racial Equity Awareness in Research

Researchers and analysts aren't the only ones in the research pipeline who can help make research more equitable and inclusive.

All kinds of gatekeepers—from journal editors and peer reviewers to government agencies and funders—can help build a system that treats researchers and participants and communities more equitably.

Urban President Sarah Rosen Wartell: "Far too many Americans are still in crisis, including renters who had been vulnera...
06/10/2021
Ideas to reform the rental housing market

Urban President Sarah Rosen Wartell: "Far too many Americans are still in crisis, including renters who had been vulnerable to housing instability and economic struggles long before the coronavirus hit our shores."

June 9, 2021 Dear Changemakers, Our country is finally turning the corner on the pandemic. Vaccinations are increasing, rates of infection and death are decreasing, and normalcy seems within reach. But far too many Americans are still in crisis, including renters who had been vulnerable to housing i...

When collected & communicated carelessly, data analyses & visualizations can mislead, misrepresent, & cause harm to comm...
06/09/2021
Do No Harm Guide: Applying Equity Awareness in Data Visualization

When collected & communicated carelessly, data analyses & visualizations can mislead, misrepresent, & cause harm to communities. A new resource offers guidance for applying an equitable lens to every step of the research process.

Through rigorous, data-based analysis, researchers and analysts can add to our understanding of societal shortcomings and point toward evidence-based actions to address them. But when data are collected and communicated carelessly, data analysis and data visualizations have an outsize capacity to mi...

Early numbers show that SNAP still does not cover the cost of a low-income meal in 96% of US counties.
06/07/2021
Food Insecurity Has Improved since 2020, but the Work Isn't Done Yet

Early numbers show that SNAP still does not cover the cost of a low-income meal in 96% of US counties.

Food insecurity is a significant public health problem that worsened during the pandemic that requires a robust, sustained effort to eradicate, a goal we have yet to achieve, despite the bounty of the US food system.

86% of the civil legal problems reported by Americans with low incomes receive little or no legal help.
06/02/2021
Transforming the Civil Justice System Would Advance Equity for All

86% of the civil legal problems reported by Americans with low incomes receive little or no legal help.

Generative civil justice eliminates inequalities by creating accessible supports that give people what they need, when they need it, in a format they can use to resolve their issues.

Unexpectedly good news about state budgets creates an opportunity for policymakers to strengthen their states’ grant pro...
05/28/2021
States Have an Opportunity to Strengthen College Grant Aid Programs

Unexpectedly good news about state budgets creates an opportunity for policymakers to strengthen their states’ grant programs, which increase opportunities for low- & moderate-income students to enroll & succeed in college.

The COVID-19 crisis creates a unique opportunity for policymakers to strengthen their states’ grant programs.

"People who do not directly experience the criminal justice system cannot find comfort in language advocacy to the point...
05/28/2021
Person-First Language Is Not Enough

"People who do not directly experience the criminal justice system cannot find comfort in language advocacy to the point that they neglect the need for true systemic change. Words must come with action."

The criminal justice field's shift toward person-first language is critical, but there is more work to be done to achieve true systemic change.

The latest on Data@Urban: How we built a public-use Tableau dashboard displaying info about daily vaccinations alongside...
05/28/2021
Visualizing Vaccinations: Web Scraping and a Live Tableau Dashboard

The latest on [email protected]: How we built a public-use Tableau dashboard displaying info about daily vaccinations alongside socioeconomic data to provide a perspective on vaccination disparities not readily available elsewhere.

Over the past year, journalists and researchers have found creative ways to analyze and visualize COVID-19 data, including trends on…

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About the Urban Institute

The Urban Institute is the trusted source for unbiased, authoritative insights that inform consequential choices about the well-being of people and places in the United States. We are a nonprofit research organization that believes decisions shaped by facts, rather than ideology, have the power to improve public policy and practice, strengthen communities, and transform people’s lives for the better.

Our experts diagnose current challenges and look ahead to identify opportunities for change. And we don’t stop there. We use our research findings to help stakeholders craft relevant solutions and strategies that address today’s concerns and avert tomorrow’s roadblocks. And we share our insights in real time with influencers eager to make smarter decisions.

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