Poverty and Public Policy

Alice: The Consequences of Insufficient Household Income

The United Way ALICE Project provides a framework, language, and tools to measure and understand the struggles of the growing number of households in our communities that do not earn enough to afford basic necessities, a population called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). This research initiative partners with more than 450 United Way organizations […]

The U.S. Spends Far Too Little on Social Welfare

The US government has a spending problem. Given the country’s level of wealth, the government spends far too little — at least $1.6 trillion a year too little — on social welfare. This exacerbates problems like poverty and inequality, and makes life a lot harder for a lot of people — from families with young […]

Safety Net’s Anti-Poverty Effectiveness Has Grown Nearly Ten-Fold Since 1967

The safety net was nearly ten times more effective at reducing poverty in 2014 as in 1967, new data show. That is, safety net programs reduced the number of otherwise-poor people by 42 percent in 2014.  In sharp contrast, safety net programs cut the number of otherwise-poor people by just a little more than 4 […]

Family Options Study: Short-Term Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) undertook the Family Options Study to gather evidence about which types of housing and services interventions work best for homeless families. The study compares the effects of three active interventions— permanent housing subsidy (SUB), community-based rapid re-housing (CBRR), and project-based transitional housing (PBTH)—to one […]

The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

Abstract The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment offered randomly selected families living in highpoverty housing projects housing vouchers to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods. We present new evidence on the impacts of MTO on children’s long-term outcomes using administrative data from tax returns. We find that moving to a lower-poverty neighborhood significantly improves college attendance rates […]