A Two-Generation Approach Seeks Change for Public Housing Residents
The Urban Institute’s Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) program seeks to address not just housing but the complex web of socioeconomic issues that keep families from being self-sustaining. HOST: Can Public Housing be a Platform for Change explores the existing literature on poverty and housing and examines past policy interventions that have sought to improve the lives of families in government-assisted housing. Taking lessons from prior studies, the HOST program provides social services and programming to two generations of residents in public housing communities in four major cities: Chicago, Washington, DC, New York, and Portland. With a focus on targeted, multi-pronged services, the HOST program is attempting to instigate long-term social change that will lead to better social and economic outcomes for entire communities.
- Interventions in neighborhoods with concentrated disadvantage must address not only economic segregation, but the effects of a history of racial segregation.
- Distressed communities often suffer from a lack of “collective efficacy,” or the community-wide trust that enables neighborhoods to establish and keep order.
- Poor economic and social outcomes in distressed neighborhoods are largely due to residents’ lack of connections to the labor market, educational systems, and other institutions.
- The HOST program seeks to stop and redirect social processes that lead to sexual predation, domestic violence, drug addiction and violence.
- The HOST program seeks to interrupt destructive social patterns and create brighter futures for families by providing comprehensive wrap-around services that address complex health, mental health, and educational challenges.