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SSRC Library

The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

  • Conduct a search and filter parameters as desired.
  • "Check" the box next to the resources for which you would like a citation.
  • Select "Download Selected Citation" at the top of the Library Search Page.
  • Select your export style:
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  • Select submit and download your citations.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Perl, Libby; Bagalman, Erin; Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.; Heisler, Elayne J.; McCallion, Gail; McCarthy, Francis X.
    Year: 2012

    The causes of homelessness and determining how best to assist those who find themselves homeless became particularly prominent, visible issues in the 1980s. The concept of homelessness may seem like a straightforward one, with individuals and families who have no place to live falling within the definition. However, the extent of homelessness in this country and how best to address it depend upon how one defines the condition of being homeless. There is no single federal definition of homelessness, although a number of programs, including those overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Labor (DOL) use the definition enacted as part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (P.L. 100-77). The McKinney-Vento Act definition of a homeless individual was recently broadened as part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-22). Previously, a homeless individual was defined as a person who lacks a fixed nighttime residence and whose primary...

    The causes of homelessness and determining how best to assist those who find themselves homeless became particularly prominent, visible issues in the 1980s. The concept of homelessness may seem like a straightforward one, with individuals and families who have no place to live falling within the definition. However, the extent of homelessness in this country and how best to address it depend upon how one defines the condition of being homeless. There is no single federal definition of homelessness, although a number of programs, including those overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Labor (DOL) use the definition enacted as part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (P.L. 100-77). The McKinney-Vento Act definition of a homeless individual was recently broadened as part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-22). Previously, a homeless individual was defined as a person who lacks a fixed nighttime residence and whose primary nighttime residence is a supervised public or private shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, a facility accommodating persons intended to be institutionalized, or a place not intended to be used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. The new law expanded the definition to include those defined as homeless under other federal programs, in certain circumstances, as well as those who will imminently lose housing. In the 112th Congress, a bill that would further expand the McKinney-Vento Act definition, the Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2011 (H.R. 32), has been approved by the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity. A number of federal programs in seven different agencies, many originally authorized by the McKinney-Vento Act, serve homeless persons. These include the Education for Homeless Children and Youth program administered by the Department of Education (ED) and the Emergency Food and Shelter program, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program run by the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers multiple programs that serve homeless individuals, including Health Care for the Homeless, Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness, and the Runaway and Homeless Youth program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Patterson, Rhiannon; Wood, Michelle; Lam, Ken; Patrabansh, Satyendra; Mills, Gregory; Sullivan, Steven; Amare, Hiwotte; Zandniapour, Lily
    Year: 2004

    The Welfare to Work Voucher (WtWV) program was initiated in Fiscal Year 1999 when Congress appropriated $283 million for tenant-based housing vouchers to help families make the transition from welfare to work. This appropriation (P.L. 105-276) funded 50,000 new vouchers. The assistance was awarded initially to 129 local and state housing agencies that presented reasonable plans for helping eligible families find available housing and for coordinating these efforts with existing welfare reform and welfare-to-work efforts.

    This research offers powerful new evidence concerning the effects of tenant-based rental assistance on self-sufficiency. The experimental design enables one to draw rigorous inferences about the effects of housing vouchers on family well being, independent of all other factors affecting the lives of program participants. Random assignment serves to assure that the treatment and control groups are well matched on both observed and unobserved characteristics at the time of their entry into the study. It thus establishes the strongest possible foundation for...

    The Welfare to Work Voucher (WtWV) program was initiated in Fiscal Year 1999 when Congress appropriated $283 million for tenant-based housing vouchers to help families make the transition from welfare to work. This appropriation (P.L. 105-276) funded 50,000 new vouchers. The assistance was awarded initially to 129 local and state housing agencies that presented reasonable plans for helping eligible families find available housing and for coordinating these efforts with existing welfare reform and welfare-to-work efforts.

    This research offers powerful new evidence concerning the effects of tenant-based rental assistance on self-sufficiency. The experimental design enables one to draw rigorous inferences about the effects of housing vouchers on family well being, independent of all other factors affecting the lives of program participants. Random assignment serves to assure that the treatment and control groups are well matched on both observed and unobserved characteristics at the time of their entry into the study. It thus establishes the strongest possible foundation for understanding whether housing vouchers can assist welfare families in achieving greater financial independence or otherwise improving their lives.

    This study is especially timely in light of federal and state changes in welfare policies over the past decade, reducing the numbers of families eligible for public assistance and limiting the time period over which they can receive benefits. Housing vouchers may help low-income families become employed and may also help them meet financial needs as they transition from welfare.

    The current report presents interim findings as to the impact of the WtWV program on the quality of a family’s residential location, on employment and earnings, and on receipt of public assistance. The analysis, based on a six-site research sample of 8,732 families, makes use of outcome measures derived from tract-level Census data and person-level administrative data. The impact estimates in this report encompass a follow-up period that is five quarters in duration for all sites, and longer for some sites, reflecting the timing of random assignment and the availability of outcome measures.  performance, and engaging employers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Turner, Margery A.
    Year: 2003

    Testimony on the strengths and weakness of the federal housing voucher program. The testimony reviews the importance of the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the benefits it provides, and describes challenges facing the program. The author argues that the administration's proposal to convert the voucher program into a state block grant does nothing to address these challenges and indeed could make them harder to overcome. The author suggests three strategies that could strengthen the basic voucher program design, substantially improving outcomes for families. Remarks are based on research the author and colleagues at the Urban Institute have conducted on federal housing assistance programs and needs as well as on the work of researchers at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other public and private organizations. Three promising strategies for making the basic voucher design work better could be implemented within the existing program structure and could potentially improve outcomes for families substantially: 1) mobility counseling and assistance can help...

    Testimony on the strengths and weakness of the federal housing voucher program. The testimony reviews the importance of the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the benefits it provides, and describes challenges facing the program. The author argues that the administration's proposal to convert the voucher program into a state block grant does nothing to address these challenges and indeed could make them harder to overcome. The author suggests three strategies that could strengthen the basic voucher program design, substantially improving outcomes for families. Remarks are based on research the author and colleagues at the Urban Institute have conducted on federal housing assistance programs and needs as well as on the work of researchers at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other public and private organizations. Three promising strategies for making the basic voucher design work better could be implemented within the existing program structure and could potentially improve outcomes for families substantially: 1) mobility counseling and assistance can help voucher recipients understand the locational options available, identify housing opportunities, and negotiate effectively with landlords; 2) aggressive landlord outreach, service, and incentives can substantially expand the housing options available to voucher recipients; and 3) regional collaboration and/or regional administration of the voucher program can help address the administrative barriers to portability across jurisdictions, and make the program more transparent to both landlords and participants. Although it is possible that some states might choose to use a voucher block grant to implement one or more of these promising strategies, this choice seems unlikely absent a programmatic mandate or incentive system. (author abstract)