In a new commentary for Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, CBPP Vice President for Housing Policy Barbara Sard outlines steps that federal, state, and local agencies can take to help tens of thousands of children and their families avoid living in violent neighborhoods of extreme poverty — and enable more of them to choose to live in low-poverty neighborhoods with high-quality schools. Here’s the opening:
Nearly 4 million children live in low-income families that receive federal rental assistance, which not only helps them keep a roof over their heads but also has the potential to enable children to grow up in better neighborhoods with more opportunities. Unfortunately, we’ve fallen badly short on the latter ambition.
As of 2010, only 15 percent of the children whose families participate in the major rental assistance programs lived in low-poverty neighborhoods, while 18 percent lived in very high-poverty neighborhoods. The good news is that we can make substantial progress in the next few years — without congressional action or more federal funding — to help more families live in neighborhoods that will improve their children’s chances of a better life.