CURS to help evaluate HUD’s Jobs Plus Pilot Program

The Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) has been selected as part of a team of researchers to evaluate the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Jobs Plus Pilot Program. CURS joins lead organization MDRC and partner organization National Initiative for Mixed-Income Communities at Case Western Reserve University to assess Job Plus as it is implemented in nine cities. Continue reading

White House Cites Ecological Restoration Research of CURS Faculty Fellows

ecological restoration

“Surface Elevation Table Installation” by NOAA’s National Ocean Service is licensed under CC-BY-2.0.

The White House cited the ecological restoration research of Todd BenDor and T. William Lester in a blog post last week called “Encouraging Private Investments in America’s Natural Resources.” The post was prompted by the signing of a Presidential Memorandum by President Obama to “accelerate restoration efforts and incentivize private investment in our land, water and wildlife.” Continue reading

CURS Public Housing Work Requirements Research Featured on NLIHC’s “Must Reads” List

October 5, 2015

Must-ReadsThe National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) placed a recently released Center for Urban and Regional Studies research report entitled Work Requirements in Public Housing: Impacts on Tenant Employment and Evictions on its “Must Reads” list today. NLICH also featured the research on its website.

The study is the first analysis of the impacts of a work requirement for residents in public housing developments. The research examines a work requirement implemented by the Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) through its Moving to Work participation.

Click here more information on this research.



NAHRO Monitor Features Two CURS Public Housing Research Studies

September 30, 2015

NAHRO Monitor Sept 30 2015 coverThe NAHRO Monitor, a twice-monthly update sent to the 22,000 members of the The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, featured two CURS research studies in its recent issue. The front page article “Center for Urban and Regional Studies Publishes Report on Moving to Work” outlines the results CURS’ assessment of the Charlotte Housing Authority’s (CHA) efforts to implement the Moving to Work (MTW) program entitled Moving Forward (MF).

The Monitor also highlighted Work Requirements in Public Housing: Impacts on Tenant Employment and Evictions, a report released by the Center earlier this month evaluating the CHA’s work requirement policy, comparing the employment and eviction rates between those subject to the work requirement and a comparison group not subject to the policy.

Read the articles here.

Learn about the NAHRO Monitor and the work of NAHRO.

How the Reemergence of Manufacturing Can Benefit Historic Small Towns: A Mississippi Case Study

A Regional Land UseTransportation Decision Support Tool for MississippiWhen a new industry comes to town, the financial investment and revitalization that comes with it can be a boon to local economies and residents. But rural regions with deep roots in agriculture and manufacturing may encounter challenges in balancing the character and history of their communities with the development needs of new industry—especially if that new industry is high-tech. The people of Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area, where a new Toyota plant recently opened, face such a challenge.

In a report entitled A Regional Land Use-Transportation Decision Support Tool for Mississippi, Brian Morton, CURS Senior Research Associate and principal investigator of the study, outlines two starkly different development futures for the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. One projects rapid expansion of the towns of Tupelo and New Albany, both near the plant, which eclipse the region’s smaller towns. The second development pattern envisions more even growth among the regions larger towns: Houston, Pontotoc, New Albany, and Tupelo.

Continue reading

New Research on Public Housing Work Requirements and their Impacts on Tenant Employment and Evictions

Tarlton Hills is one of five public housing developments where the Charlotte Housing Authority has implemented a work requirement with on-site case management for residents.

Tarlton Hills is one of five public housing developments where the Charlotte Housing Authority has implemented a work requirement with on-site case management for residents.

September 14, 2015

Public housing authorities have always faced a tension: to provide safe, stable housing to our most vulnerable families while also trying to move them off public housing assistance. The use of work requirements as a means to increase employment among public housing residents is currently being implemented by eight housing authorities participating in HUD’s Moving to Work demonstration program (MTW). However, until now, there has been no rigorous evaluation of the impacts of these policies on tenants. Continue reading

CURS Releases New Report on Moving to Work Program

As Congress continues to debate the future of Moving to Work, many policy-makers and advocates clamor for details about the program’s effectiveness. Approaching its 20th year of existence, Moving to Work (MTW) is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) demonstration program that provides participating housing authorities the flexibility to explore innovative policies. While 39 public housing authorities are currently participating in MTW, Congress is considering significantly expanding and/or reforming the program. Continue reading

CURS Announces Research Development Initiative

The Center for Urban and Regional Studies is pleased to accept applications for the Research Development Initiative, a peer-supported program designed to foster new research projects by its Faculty Fellows and other social science faculty members on campus. This program will involve the selection of a cohort of 4 to 6 researchers who will interact over a six-to-nine-month period for the purpose of developing a set of research proposals for submission to external funders, including NSF, other federal agencies, and national and state foundations. During this program each participant will develop a proposal with support provided through a series of monthly activities including presentations, discussions, peer feedback sessions, and individual consultations with CURS staff. CURS will also provide each participant with up to $500 to support activities directly related to the development of a research proposal, such as paying a student to assist with a literature review, buying a data set or taking a trip to confer with a potential funder.

Click here for more information and to apply. The deadline for applications is Friday, September 18, 2015.

Dr. Clark Gray, 2015-2016 China Urbanization Research Proposal Competition Winner

Clark Gray / photo credit: Carolina Population Center

Clark Gray / photo credit: Carolina Population Center

The Center for Urban & Regional Studies is pleased to announce that Dr. Clark Gray from the Department of Geography is the winner of the 2015-2016 China Urbanization Research Proposal Competition. Dr. Gray’s proposed research will build on several of his previous studies investigating the social consequences of environmental change in the developing world in order to examine rural and urban China’s vulnerability to flooding. As Dr. Gray wrote in his proposal, “the natural disaster that affects the most people globally is flooding, with deaths and damages concentrated in East and South Asia. China is particularly vulnerable and has been the site of ten of the ten most damaging floods globally since 1980 (as measured by estimates of the number of people affected).” His collaboration with Dr. Tamlin Pavelsky of the UNC Geology Department and Dr. Valerie Mueller of the International Food Policy Research Institute will aim to conduct a population-level longitudinal study to investigate the social impacts of flooding in rural and urban China. Continue reading

The Economic Benefits of Safe Routes to School

June 29, 2015

Efforts to improve conditions for walking and bicycling near schools can increase safety and travel by foot and bicycle. It turns out these initiatives can also help school districts save money, according to Noreen McDonald, CURS faculty fellow and associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. In a recently published research brief “The Economic Benefits of Safe Routes to School,” McDonald explains that many school districts can save significant amounts of money by reducing the need for hazard busing — a practice where districts bus students living within walking distance of their schools because the students face hazardous walking and biking conditions.

Read more in the research brief about hazard busing and communities that can save money while providing safer routes for kids to walk and bike to school.