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Urban Institute

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Filling the Medicaid gap with a public option

Individual Author: 
Holahan, John
Simpson, Michael

As of July 2021, 12 states have not expanded Medicaid as permitted by the Affordable Care Act,  contributing to 5.8 million people with incomes below the federal poverty level being without coverage. One approach to help cover people in this “Medicaid gap” would be to have the federal government make Marketplace coverage available to those between current Medicaid eligibility levels and  the federal poverty level. An alternative would be to employ a public option plan in the Marketplace to for the same population.

What would it take to reduce inequities in healthy life expectancy?

Individual Author: 
Kenney, Genevieve M.
Waidmann, Timothy
Skope, Laura
Allen, Eva H.

What if everyone had the same prospects for living a long and healthy life, no matter who they are or where they call home? In this future, all people live in safe and healthy environments; enjoy reliable access to health care, nutritious food, and stable housing; and have the knowledge and opportunities to make healthy choices about diet and exercise. And none of us has to contend with the harms of persistent racial discrimination, violence, trauma, and injustice.

How far did SNAP benefits fall short of covering the cost of a meal in 2020?

Individual Author: 
Waxman, Elaine
Gundersen, Craig
Fiol, Olivia

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the primary federal food assistance program, aims to reduce hunger and food insecurity by augmenting low-income families’ purchasing power. However, the effectiveness of SNAP can be limited in a variety of ways, including by maximum benefit level, challenges with the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), and geographic variation in food prices. In an earlier version of this brief, we documented one of these limitations: the failure of the SNAP benefit to account for the wide geographic variation in food prices across the US.

An equitable strategy for public housing redevelopment

Individual Author: 
Popkin, Susan J.
Levy, Diane K.
O'Brien, Mica
Boshart, Abby

Repairing the aging, deteriorating public housing stock is a major challenge facing the Biden administration. We draw on three decades of research to highlight shortcomings in past public housing redevelopment programs such as HOPE VI and Choice Neighborhoods, including the loss of critically needed units and a lack of meaningful resident engagement in planning for redevelopment, relocation, and services. But future public housing redevelopment efforts can go beyond the mixed-income approach of past and ongoing initiatives and promote racial equity.

Fostering racial and ethnic equity and inclusion (REEI)

Individual Author: 
McDaniel, Marla
Coffey, Amelia
Gaddy, Marcus
Okoli, Adaeze
Runes, Charmaine
Popkin, Susan, J.
Anderson, Theresa

The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched Family-Centered Community Change (FCCC) in 2012 to support three local partnerships seeking to help parents and children in high-poverty neighborhoods succeed together. Recognizing the roles that inequity and exclusion play in the communities’ economic and social conditions, Casey provided each FCCC initiative with trainings on racial and ethnic equity and inclusion (REEI) beginning in 2015.

Long Island racial equity through economic advancement

Individual Author: 
Brown, Steven
Charleston, Donnie
Ramarkrishnan, Kriti
Ford, LesLeigh, D.

Long Island— the United States’ first suburb—is by many measures an economically prosperous place.  However, opportunity is not spread equally on Long Island. Long-standing discrimination and residential segregation created and maintains racial disparities, with black Long Islanders experiencing more limited access to employment, lower incomes, and greater financial insecurity.

Federal reforms to strengthen housing stability, affordability, and choice: Opportunity for All housing policy brief

Individual Author: 
Reynolds, Kathryn
Lo, Lydia
Boshart, Abby
Galvez, Martha, M.

Among the many pressing issues for the Biden administration to tackle are the challenges of instituting national housing policies that address housing stability and affordability and that ensure affordable housing is built and preserved in neighborhoods of opportunity. These challenges are not new, and some issues, particularly for renters and communities of color, have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stabilizing young people transitioning to adulthood: Opportunities and challenges with key safety net programs

Individual Author: 
Adams, Gina
Hahn, Heather
Coffey, Amelia

This synthesis brief builds on five separate briefs examining key safety net programs and explores the extent to which key federal safety net programs help meet young people’s basic needs for housing, food, health care, and income during this transitional life stage. It presents findings from an initial exploration of issues relevant to young people, based on a quick review of literature and conversations with safety net and youth policy experts as well as youth-serving practitioners. (author abstract)

Stabilizing families in supportive housing

Individual Author: 
McDaniel, Marla
Gillespie, Sarah
Hong, Ashley
Cunningham, Mary
Pergamit, Mary

Children experiencing homelessness or living in inadequate and unstable housing are exposed to many risks, including a heightened threat of involvement with the child welfare system if they face neglect, poor safety, abuse, or other harms. For families involved in the child welfare system who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, having stable housing could mitigate these risks and make the difference between staying together as a family or being separated.

Breaking the link between hardship and eviction: The case for a renters' housing stability program

Individual Author: 
Brennan, Maya
Sahli, Ellen
Elliott, Diana
Noble, Eleanor

The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the precarious situation of renters in the US and the routine risk of eviction when hardship strikes. Millions of renters faced financial hardship even before the pandemic, and these hardships and eviction risks are connected to structural racism. Racial disparities in incomes, homeownership rates, and personal savings all disproportionately protect white households and leave households of color—especially Black mothers—exposed.