News


20
Jul 2016
How Changing Rent Subsidies Could Impact D.C.

Originally Published by The Kojo Nnamdi Show   More than 12,000 households in D.C. — and two million nationwide — depend on federal subsidies to help them make rent in our expensive urban neighborhoods. But the subsidy voucher system has long come under fire for both keeping poor tenants stuck in low-income neighborhoods and padding the pockets of landlords. Under a new rule proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development however, subsidy rates could change to more accurately reflect cost of housing by zip code, rather than by metro area. We explore how changing rent subsidies could impact upward mobility for families, and what it means for tenants and property owners in our region. Guests Adrianne Todman Executive Director, D.C. Housing......

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18
Jul 2016
Petrilli: When Only Some Kids Can Afford Summer Camp — Why We Must Close the ‘Enrichment Gap’

By Michael J. Petrilli Originally Published by The 74 Million   Late July might be famous for potato chips and trips to the beach. But it’s also, arguably, the time when America’s inequality, like the hot summer sun, is at its zenith, particularly for our children. Affluent kids are spending their days (and often their nights) at camp, or traveling the world with their families, picking up knowledge, skills, and social connections that will help them to thrive at school and beyond. Needless to say, these are not experiences accessible to their less affluent peers. As Robert Putnam argued in his landmark book, Our Kids, and again in his recent report, Closing the Opportunity Gap, there is a growing social-class gulf in spending on......

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16
Jun 2016
In surprise, Baltimore exempt from controversial Section 8 program to increase mobility

By Natalie Sherman Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun Photo: Baltimore Heritage, Flickr   The Baltimore region would be exempt from a federal housing voucher reform designed to help low-income families move out of high-poverty areas. The plan is meant to allow holders of housing choice vouchers — commonly known as Section 8 vouchers — to receive higher rental reimbursements if they use them for housing in low-poverty ZIP codes, while reducing payments in high-poverty areas. The controversial proposal comes amid concerns that earlier federal policies perpetuated economic divisions or prompted landlords to inflate rents even as research showed the powerful benefits conveyed to children who grow up in stable, safe neighborhoods. Continue reading…...

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13
Jun 2016
Roughly Speaking podcast: Launching a life out of poverty in Baltimore

By Dan Rodricks Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun Photo: Baltimore Heritage, Flickr   In this podcast: A follow-up to Dan’s Sunday column with Stefanie DeLuca, a Johns Hopkins sociologist and co-author of a 10-year study of 150 young, African-American men and women who were born in the late 1980s and 1990s to parents who lived in Baltimore’s public housing projects. The researchers conducted extensive interviews with the children to measure their success in coming of age as young adults despite the hardships of family poverty, poorly performing schools and violent neighborhoods. The results were surprising. DeLuca, along with Susan Clampet-Lundquist and Kathryn Edin, are the authors of “Coming of Age in the Other America.” Listen Here...

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11
Jun 2016
The power of 'identity projects' in launching a life

By Dan Rodricks Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun Photo: Baltimore Heritage, Flickr   Can it be that a hobby makes a difference? That a passion for dance or raising pigeons or Shakespeare can help kids from poor families in Baltimore finish high school and get on track for a life better than the one they were born into? The findings of a 10-year study of 150 young adults — all of them African-American, all born in the late 1980s or early 1990s into families that resided, at least for a time, in the city’s public housing projects — seem to suggest exactly that. Ninety-four percent of the young adults who were considered “on track” — working or in school — by......

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16
May 2016
'Affordable' Housing Remains Out of Reach for Full-Time Working Families

Nowhere in Baltimore can two full-time minimum-wage earners afford the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment, according to a new report.   By Brentin Mock Originally Published by City Lab, From The Atlantic Photo: Eric Thayer/Reuters   For Baltimore’s Project C.O.R.E. urban redevelopment plan, the state of Maryland is offering up hundreds of millions of dollars to seduce investors into developing some of the city’s most blighted corridors. The challenge for those developers will be to find ways to ensure that new and renovated housing is affordable for low-wage earners. “Affordable,” however, has long-ago become an elusive target, especially in cities like Baltimore where both poverty and housing costs are out of control. This double crisis has not only continued to keep very-low-income......

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10
May 2016
It’s a Tough Job Market for the Young Without College Degrees

By Patricia Cohen Originally Published in The New York Times Photo: Sarah Lim/The New York Times   For seniors graduating from the University of Michigan this month, employers have been lining up since the fall to offer interviews and boast of their companies’ benefits. Recruiters would ask when their competitors were coming, said Geni Harclerode, the university’s assistant director of employer development, and then they’d say: “Well, we want to come the week before.” “This has been one of our largest seasons of hiring,” she said. “The job market has been very good.” The outlook for many high school graduates is more challenging, as Vynny Brown can attest. Now 20, he graduated two years ago from Waller High School in Texas, and......

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10
May 2016
Baltimore faces 'double crisis' with increasing rents and low incomes, report says

By Jessica Anderson and Natalie Sherman Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun Photo: Baltimore Heritage, Flickr   Stagnant wages and rising rents have created a “double crisis” in Baltimore, where more than half of the city’s renters live in housing considered unaffordable, a new report says. Many of the families struggling to pay rent are poor, but costs also have increased sharply for a growing number of working- and middle-class renters, according to the report for the Abell Foundation, which looked at data from the American Community Survey and American Housing Survey. Nearly 30 percent of Baltimore’s renter families earning between $40,000 and $75,000 a year spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing, considered the standard for affordability. That’s up from......

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03
May 2016
Baltimore Teens Find a Path Away from Violence Through ‘Identity Projects’

A pair of sociologists explain how nurturing kids’ passions — whether for anime, customizing cars, or raising pigeons — has the power to reduce illegal behaviors.   By Akoto Ofori-Atta Article Originally Published by The Trace Photo: Baltimore Heritage, Flickr   As a child in inner-city Baltimore, Vicky cared for an unlikely menagerie of pets, including a turtle and a baby alligator. Now, at 22, she has shifted her attention to a flock of pigeons that live in a coop she built with her father behind the family’s slender Section 8 brick rowhouse. Vicky has experienced violent bouts of anger since she was young. Visiting the birds in her backyard calmed her down and offered her solitude in an overcrowded home. “Sometimes......

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29
Apr 2016
Baltimore’s youths can be more successful than their parents

By Stefanie DeLuca and Susan Clampet-Lundquist Originally Published by The Washington Post Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post   Like many across the country, we watched the media coverage of Baltimore this time a year ago, eight days after the death of Freddie Gray, when reports surfaced of a midafternoon “riot” at Mondawmin Mall. Accounts differ as to who was responsible, but after police shut down city buses that high school youths relied on to get home, images of protesters went viral over the next several hours. Amid widespread condemnation, Baltimore’s mayor and President Obama called the Baltimore protesters “thugs.” This label distorts what youths in Baltimore are like. Their potential is significant and real. We spent more than a decade in Baltimore’s poorest communities, researching and talking......

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28
Apr 2016
On the Fast Track to Adulthood With Limited Options

Low-income students don’t have the luxury of meandering through college. By Emily Deruy Originally Published by The Atlantic Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters   The urgency to become an “adult” combined with a limited menu of higher-education options can seriously derail young people from poor neighborhoods who are looking for opportunities to succeed. In a report published this month, The Century Foundation takes a look at the cycle of poverty that Baltimore’s young people often find themselves in and offers recommendations for how cities and lawmakers might begin to break some of the challenges they face. While the report, by Stefanie A. DeLuca and Susan Clampet-Lundquist, touches on everything from housing vouchers to mentorship, the role that some postsecondary schools seem to play in exacerbating inequalities......

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19
Apr 2016
Johns Hopkins sociologists take in-depth look at disparate paths of Baltimore youth

By Katie Pearce Originally Published by HUB   In the case of the newly released Coming of Age in the Other America, co-authored by Johns Hopkins sociologist Stefanie DeLuca, the core research took place on sofas and at kitchen tables in Baltimore homes. To get a sense of how children born into city public housing in the 1980s and 1990s were faring as young adults, she spent hours interviewing them in their own houses. The process turned out to be “incredibly intimate,” she says. “You sit down with a stranger, and if you’re doing your work well, you’re able to create the kind of conversation that invites vulnerability, humor, and honesty … in exchange for openness, empathy, and lack of judgment.” The......

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06
Apr 2016
Why Do Some Poor Kids Thrive?

Researchers tracked hundreds of students in Baltimore to find out what top achievers had that others didn’t.   By Alana Semuels Image: Patrick Semansky Article Originally Published by The Atlantic   Despite the challenge of growing up in tough areas with few resources, thousands of inner city kids manage to excel academically. But even some students who seem to thrive early on run a significant risk of faltering on their quest for college degrees or the elite jobs they once envisioned. So what’s the deciding factor behind kids who meet their potential and those who wind up falling short? That’s the question undertaken by researchers Stefanie DeLuca, Susan Clampet-Lundquist, and Kathryn Edin, in the book Coming of Age in the Other America.Written in......

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04
Apr 2016
Let’s talk about Millennials that aren’t spoiled rich white kids

By Jillian Berman, Marketwatch Image: AP Article Originally Published by New York Post and MarketWatch   There is no shortage of trend pieces floating around the Internet about how millennials work, save, eat, shop or live in their parents’ basements. But let’s be real: most of those stories are focused on a group of often white, largely middle-class (or wealthier) 20- and 30-somethings who graduated from four-year colleges and work in white-collar settings. A trio of sociologists are looking to broaden the conversation about this oft-talked about demographic. Stefanie DeLuca and Kathryn Edin, professors at Johns Hopkins University, along with Susan Clampet-Lundquist, a professor at St. Joseph’s University, have written a book that draws from 10 years of field research on 150 black Baltimore residents born......

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15
Mar 2016
Will the Democrats Ever Face an African-American Revolt?

By Thomas B. Edsall Image: Whitney Curtis for The New York Times Originally Published by The New York Times   An insurrection now threatens the future of the Republican Party — an insurrection of white working class voters who have been among the party’s most loyal supporters since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. These men and women felt that they lacked an effective political voice, until they heard the siren call of Donald J. Trump. Could the Democratic Party face a comparable revolt? Beginning with the administration of Lyndon Baines Johnson, African-American voters have provided Democrats with their margin of victory in elections at every level across the nation, year after year. How have African-American voters been faring over all? Badly. The Democratic debt to black voters......

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