February 24, 2000

The Value of Housing Subsidies to Welfare Reform Efforts
by Barbara Sard and Jeff Lubell

This is the first chapter of a report on "The Increasing Use of TANF and State Matching Funds to Provide Housing Assistance to Families Moving From Welfare to Work." The full report is available on the Internet at https://www.cbpp.org/2-17-00hous.pdf
For printed copies, call the Center at 202-408-1080.

Recent research results suggest that housing subsidies can be helpful in advancing welfare reform objectives. A study by the highly regarded Manpower Development Research Corporation (MDRC) of welfare reform in Minnesota found most of the gains in employment and earnings attributable to the state's welfare reform initiative were concentrated among residents of public or subsidized housing. In other words, welfare reform was found to have a larger effect on employment and earnings among families receiving housing subsidies than among other families in the study. Preliminary findings from studies in Atlanta, Georgia and Columbus, Ohio, indicate the same may be true of different initiatives undertaken in those cities. A study of the work activity of welfare recipients in four counties in California found a strong positive correlation between receipt of Section 8 housing assistance(1) and the number of hours worked per month, after controlling for other characteristics. Additional research is needed to confirm the applicability of these preliminary findings to other welfare reform programs. These findings suggest, however, that housing subsidies may be useful in helping families make the transition from welfare to work.

Minnesota Family Investment Program

A recent evaluation of Minnesota's welfare reform initiative (known as MFIP) by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) found that residents of public and subsidized housing benefitted more from that initiative than poor families not residing in such housing.(2) The central features of MFIP were a requirement that recipients participate in work activities and a substantial increase in the amount of earned income that was disregarded in determining the family's eligibility for, and benefit level under, the state's cash assistance program. The evaluation found that among long-term welfare recipients in urban counties subject to both the work participation requirements and the earnings disregard, employment and earnings increases were greater for families living in public or subsidized housing than for those in private housing. MFIP participants living in public or subsidized housing also outperformed residents of private housing on an absolute basis; average earnings over 18 months among long-term welfare recipients in urban counties who were subject to both the work participation requirements and the earnings disregard and lived in public or subsidized housing exceeded by more than 40 percent the average earnings of participants not residing in such housing.

Tenant-based vs. Project-based Assistance

There are two main types of government-funded rental housing assistance: tenant-based assistance and project-based assistance:

Tenant-based assistance helps subsidize the rents of apartments that families locate in the private market. It is called tenant-based because the subsidy recipient can take the assistance with her to a new apartment. The largest tenant-based assistance program is the federal Section 8 housing voucher program.

Project-based assistance, by contrast, is attached to specific units. The two main project-based assistance programs are the federal public housing program and the project-based Section 8 program. Project-based Section 8 housing consists of subsidized rental units in buildings owned and operated by private owners.

All three of these programs provide subsidies that vary depending on the incomes of participating families. As a general rule, these programs require families to pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities, with the subsidy covering the difference between the family contribution and actual housing costs, up to a locally-adjusted maximum.

A number of other federal and state programs, such as the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, help to make rents more affordable to moderate-income families by subsidizing the costs of construction or construction-related borrowing. Without an additional subsidy (such as a housing voucher), however, the rents for such units generally are not affordable to working poor families, including families making the transition from welfare to work.

Studies of two different Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) training interventions in Atlanta and Columbus similarly indicate that the programs' impacts over a three-year period were concentrated among families in public or subsidized housing. Reviewing these results, MDRC researchers James Riccio and Alan Orenstein conclude: "Taken together, the impact findings from the Atlanta, Columbus, and Minnesota studies point to an important and consistent result: all three mainstream welfare-to-work programs had their largest and most consistent employment and earnings impacts on welfare recipients . . . who lived in public or Section 8 housing. Their impact was smallest — and sometimes almost entirely absent — for recipients in unsubsidized private housing."(3)

In addition to showing substantial improvement in terms of earnings and employment rates, families who were targeted to receive JOBS services in Atlanta and lived in Section 8 housing had higher employment rates in the last quarter of the three-year period studied than families in unsubsidized housing targeted to receive the same services.(4) This occurred despite the fact that, by most conventional measures, the families in Section 8 housing were less "work-ready" at the outset of the program than those in unsubsidized housing. The relative disadvantage of the families in Section 8 housing at the outset of the program makes their eventual success still more significant.(5)

Section 8 Program in California

Analyzing data collected in four California counties (Alameda, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Joaquin), researchers from UCLA found that, on average, families receiving both Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits and Section 8 housing subsidies(6) worked significantly more hours than AFDC families living in other forms of housing, including unsubsidized housing. The researchers found this result held true after controlling for observed differences in personal characteristics. The study concluded that the most "plausible explanation [for these results] is that Section 8 housing offers recipients residential choice and mobility that improve opportunities for employment."(7)


Three Ways in Which Housing Subsidies May Help 
Families to Obtain and Retain Employment

It is not entirely clear why welfare reform efforts appear to produce greater impacts among families participating in the subsidized housing programs and why the receipt of housing assistance appears in some cases to lead to increases in families' earnings and employment rates. The following three factors may help to explain these research findings.

1. By making housing more affordable, housing subsidies may help to stabilize the lives of low-income families and thereby improve their ability to secure and retain jobs.  

Some families with housing affordability problems may be forced to move frequently from the home of one friend or relative to that of another (or, if no other options are available, to a homeless shelter). Such moves can interrupt work schedules and jeopardize employment.

Many housing and welfare professionals believe that poor families need a stable housing situation to focus more fully on finding and retaining employment. Reflecting on site visits to 21 nonprofit organizations involved in self-sufficiency efforts in 13 states, Rachel G. Bratt of Tufts University and Langley G. Keyes of MIT noted that their "field work underscored the importance of housing being secured first, before people could pay serious attention to non-housing issues....Housing is at the core of family stability."(8) Similarly, Judy Gaither, executive director of the Human Investment Project for Housing, a nonprofit organization in California that administers the San Mateo County Housing Opportunities Program, has identified "[t]he lack of stable housing [as] the chief deterrent to self-sufficiency."(9)

One measure of the extent to which housing instability may undermine families' ability to focus on securing and retaining work comes from the Postemployment Services Demonstration (PESD), a project of the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Between 1994 and 1996, the PESD provided case management and other services to newly employed welfare recipients who were participants in JOBS programs in Chicago, San Antonio, Portland, Oregon and Riverside, California. When asked in surveys what problems outside of work made it difficult for them to maintain a job, nearly one in five of the 1,200 PESD participants surveyed cited housing problems.(10)

A recent survey of current TANF recipients in New Jersey found similar results. Nearly half of the Work First New Jersey (WFNJ) families surveyed in 1999 reported experiencing one or more housing problems in the past year,(11) and about one in five cited housing problems as a barrier to work.(12) Tellingly, the proportion of employed WFNJ clients who identified housing as a problem affecting work (19 percent) did not differ substantially from the proportion of unemployed WFNJ clients who identified housing as a work problem (22 percent).(13) This suggests that the lack of affordable housing continues to be a substantial problem for many families after they have secured low-wage employment.

2. By reducing housing costs, housing subsidies can free up funds within the budgets of low-income families for work-related expenses, such as child care, work clothes, and transportation

Census data show that in 1995, about 50 percent of working poor renters without housing assistance spent more than half of their income on housing.(14) (In contrast, federal guidelines set during the Reagan Administration provide that rental housing is affordable when the costs of rent and utilities do not exceed 30 percent of a family's adjusted income.) Such high housing costs can leave families with insufficient remaining income for basic necessities or to pay for child care, work clothing, transportation, and other expenses that often must be met if families are to navigate successfully the transition from welfare to work.

A study by Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein found that mothers in low-wage jobs (less than $8 per hour) have significantly higher total expenses (an average of $1,243 per month) than mothers relying primarily on welfare (an average of $876 per month). Among other items, wage-reliant mothers had higher expenses than welfare-reliant mothers for transportation, child care, medical care and clothing. It is likely that the wage-reliant mothers with housing subsidies would be in a better position to meet these additional expenses than the wage-reliant mothers lacking such subsidies. Edin and Lein found that wage-reliant mothers with housing subsidies had monthly housing costs that were $150 to $200 less than those of wage-reliant mothers without housing subsidies.(15)

3. Housing subsidies can help families move to areas with greater job opportunities.

 Families receiving tenant-based subsidies use them to rent housing in the private market. There are few formal restrictions on the locations in which such subsidy holders may live; they generally may rent wherever they find an agreeable landlord. By helping recipients rent apartments they could not otherwise afford, tenant-based subsidies can enable poor families to move to areas with better access to jobs or to areas where parents feel safe enough to go to work and leave older children unattended or return from work at night on public transportation.

The Gautreaux program in Chicago provides evidence of the employment benefits that may result from helping families move to neighborhoods offering better employment and educational opportunities. This program, which began in the mid-1970s as a result of a litigation consent decree and ended in 1998, provided Section 8 tenant-based assistance, along with housing search assistance, to African-American residents of (or families on the waiting list for) inner-city public housing developments in Chicago. As participating families came to the top of the list, they were offered housing either in neighborhoods in the city of Chicago or suburban neighborhoods outside of Chicago, depending on what was available. Although families had the right to reject the housing offered to them, few did so. As a result, researchers at Northwestern have concluded that the program had a "quasi-experimental" design: a single group of participants that was divided, more or less randomly, into two sub-groups: one that moved to low-income black neighborhoods within the city ("city movers") and one that moved to white middle-income suburban neighborhoods ("suburban movers").(16) An analysis of the attributes of families in the two sub-groups shows that they were highly similar to one another.(17)

To gauge the effects of the Gautreaux program, the Northwestern researchers have followed participating families over time. Among other findings, the researchers have found higher employment rates among suburban movers than among city movers. Although the groups had similar employment rates prior to their moves, several years after their respective moves, the suburban movers had an employment rate of 64 percent, compared to 51 percent among city movers. Based on interviews with survey participants, the researchers reported:

When asked how the suburban move helped them get jobs, all suburban participants mentioned the greater number of jobs in the suburbs. Improved physical safety was the second most mentioned factor. Adults reported that they did not work in the city because they feared being attacked on the way home from work, or they feared that their children would get hurt or get in trouble with gangs. The suburban move allowed mothers to feel free to go out and work. Many adults also mentioned that positive role models and social norms inspired them to work.(18)

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development began a research demonstration program called Moving to Opportunity (MTO) to test whether the benefits of the Gautreaux program could be duplicated elsewhere in a rigorous experimental setting.(19) Although systematic evaluations have not yet been completed, early focus groups have found that, as in Gautreaux, "moves to low-poverty neighborhoods have significantly reduced the fear of crime that plagued virtually all of the families before they moved out of public housing."(20) To similar effect, researchers at Harvard and Princeton found that MTO participants in Boston experienced "dramatic improvements in safety as measured by reductions in the presence of gunfire and drugs."(21) Given the role that families in the Gautreaux program attributed to perceived safety in supporting work, these early results are encouraging.

Although both Gautreaux and MTO used tenant-based assistance to help families move to lower-poverty neighborhoods, such moves also may be accomplished through well-located project-based assistance, including some public housing developments. The desirability of the neighborhoods in which public housing and project-based Section 8 housing developments are located varies considerably from place to place. Where such developments are well-located, they may be useful resources for helping families move from welfare to work. A study of minority families who moved from inner-city Yonkers neighborhoods to scattered-site public housing in predominantly white sections of Yonkers found strong employment-related benefits from the move three to 36 months after the move. The study reported being a "mover" to scattered-site public housing "makes full-time job holding twice as likely, all else held constant."(22)


Additional Potential Social Benefits of Housing Subsidies

In addition to the potential role of housing subsidies in promoting employment among welfare recipients, housing subsidies may provide other important social benefits:

The Gautreaux program likewise provides evidence of the educational benefits of moving to lower poverty neighborhoods. A study by researchers at Northwestern found that, as compared with the children of city movers, the children of suburban movers in Gautreaux were less likely to drop out of high school (5 percent versus 20 percent), more likely to be enrolled in a college track curriculum (40 percent versus 24 percent) and more likely to go to college (54 percent versus 21 percent). Among the Gautreaux youth not attending college, "a significantly higher proportion of the suburban youth had full-time jobs than city youth (75 versus 41 percent)."(25)

There also is some evidence to suggest that moving to low-poverty neighborhoods may help to reduce child health concerns and improve child safety. A study of MTO participants in Boston found that the children of families who received assistance in moving to low-poverty neighborhoods were less likely to experience serious asthma attacks or be the victim of violent crime than the children of families in either of the two control groups.(30)

Some of these ancillary benefits of housing subsidies also may have a positive impact on the ability of low-income workers to retain employment. Particularly in low-wage positions, the need to leave work to attend to a family emergency can lead to loss of employment. To the extent that housing subsidies reduce the number of disruptions attributable to child health, child criminal activity, and domestic violence, they may further contribute to job stability and retention.

End notes:

1. Section 8 is a federal housing subsidy program that pays a portion of families' rent to private owners. The program has two components of approximately equal size. The tenant-based program provides vouchers or certificates that families can use to rent private housing in any location. The project-based program subsidizes units in particular privately-owned buildings. The main differences between tenant-based and project-based housing are explained in a text box on p. 2.

2. Cynthia Miller, Explaining MFIP's Impacts by Housing Status, Unpublished Paper, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), 1998. For other results from the MFIP demonstration see Cynthia Miller, Virginia Knox, Patricia Auspos, Jo Anna Hunter-Manns, Alan Orenstein, MFIP: Making Welfare Work and Work Pay: Implementation and 18-Month Impacts of the Minnesota Family Investment Program, MDRC, 1997.

3. James Riccio and Alan Orenstein, Are Recipients in Public Housing Really Harder to Employ? (draft) Presented at Annual APPAM Research Conference, Washington, DC, November 4, 1999.

4. MDRC's study of the Atlanta JOBS initiative analyzed the outcomes of families living in different forms of housing who received comparable benefits under the JOBS program. To identify a family's housing status, the researchers asked in one-on-one interviews whether the family was living in "public housing," "subsidized housing," "emergency/temporary shelter" or "none of the above." The researchers also took a number of steps to verify the accuracy of families' responses. The few families who reported that they were living in "emergency/temporary shelter" were excluded from the analysis. Those families who responded "none of the above" were assumed to be living in unsubsidized housing. Riccio and Orenstein, supra n. 3, Appendix 1. In the draft paper, the authors generally refer to those families who indicated that they live in "subsidized housing" as the "Section 8" group. We follow that convention in reporting their results. The draft paper does not indicate how many families in the Section 8 group had tenant-based assistance and how many families had project-based assistance.

5. Riccio and Orenstein, supra n. 3, at Appendix Tables 3, 4 and 5. The Atlanta JOBS initiative used two treatment approaches: the Labor Force Attachment approach, which emphasized quick entry into the labor force, and the Human Capital Development approach, which emphasized participation in education and training prior to looking for work. Among participants in the Human Capital Development group, a greater share of those in Section 8 housing (45.9 percent) were working at the end of the period studied (i.e., the last quarter of year three) than of those in unsubsidized housing (40.2 percent). This difference is statistically significant. Households in the Labor Force Attachment group that were living in Section 8 housing also had higher employment rates at the end of the study period than their counterparts in unsubsidized housing, but the difference was not statistically significant.

The authors' analysis of the personal characteristics of participants prior to random assignment and the initiation of program services indicates that participants living in Section 8 housing were significantly less "work-ready" than participants in unsubsidized housing. For example, relative to participants living in unsubsidized housing, participants in Section 8 housing were less likely to have been employed in the past year, more likely to have low reading and writing scores, and more likely to be long-term welfare recipients.

6. The UCLA study compared the employment rates of families in three groups: (i) unsubsidized housing, (ii) public housing, and (iii) subsidized housing other than public housing. The author of the UCLA study, Paul Ong, reported that the vast majority of families in the third group participated in the Section 8 certificate and voucher programs. Following the terminology of the article, we identify the third group as participants in the "Section 8 housing" program.

7. Paul Ong, "Subsidized Housing and Work Among Welfare Recipients," Housing Policy Debate 9:4 (1998), p. 775.

8. Rachel G. Bratt and Langley C. Keyes, New Perspectives on Self-Sufficiency: Strategies of Nonprofit Housing Organizations, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, Tufts University, 1997, p. 77, n. 3. See also Bratt and Keyes, "Challenges Confronting Nonprofit Housing Organizations' Self-Sufficiency Programs," Housing Policy Debate 9:4 (1998).

9. Housing and Development Reporter, July 27, 1998, p. 168. To similar effect, Elaine M. Ryan, Director of the Government Affairs Department of the American Public Human Services Association, writes that: "Safe and affordable housing provides the stability families need to exit welfare for work." Elaine M. Ryan, "The Unfinished Agenda: Two Years After TANF," Policy & Practice (Dec. 1998).

10. Anu Rangarajan, Keeping Welfare Recipients Employed: A Guide for States Designing Job Retention Services, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1998, p. 11, Figure 2. Available on the Internet at: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/Pesdemp.pdf.

11. Anu Rangarajan and Robert G. Wood, Work First New Jersey Evaluation: How WFNJ Clients are Faring Under Welfare Reform: An Early Look, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 1999. Some 48 percent of Work First New Jersey clients reported having one of more of the following housing problems in the prior year (listed in order of frequency): currently in an overcrowded living arrangement, moved in with friends or relatives, water or electricity cut off, moved two or more times, evicted from residence, lived in emergency shelter, current apartment has incomplete kitchen or plumbing, or was homeless. Id., p. 32.

12. Id. This statistic reflects responses among clients who had worked at any time since WFNJ entry.

13. A separate study of welfare recipients in New Jersey found that nearly one in ten cited the lack of a permanent home as a barrier to employment. Assessing Work First: What Happens After Welfare? Contrasting Hope and Reality Concerning Work First's Implications for the Prospects of Welfare Recipients and their Children to Escape Poverty, Legal Services of New Jersey's Poverty Research Institute, June 1999.

14. Jennifer Daskal, In Search of Shelter, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1998, p. 15, Table 1. In this statistic, a household is considered to be "working" if its annual earnings were equal at least to half-time, year-round work at the minimum wage in 1995.

15. Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein, Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work, Russell Sage Foundation, 1997, pp. 91-93.

16. For the purposes of the Northwestern study, Gautreaux families that moved within the city, but not to neighborhoods the researchers considered to be "low-income black neighborhoods" were excluded from the "city mover" sample. James E. Rosenbaum, "Changing the Geography of Opportunity by Expanding Residential Choice: Lessons from the Gautreaux Program.," 6:1 Housing Policy Debate 231 (1995), p. 232, n. 1. See also James E. Rosenbaum and Susan J. Popkin, "Employment and Earnings of Low-Income Blacks Who Move to Middle-Class Suburbs," in C. Jencks and P. Peterson (eds.), The Urban Underclass, The Brookings Institution, 1991. A thorough bibliography of the articles Northwestern researchers have published on their Gautreaux research may be found on the Internet at: http://www.nwu.edu/IPR/publications/Gautreaux.html.

17. Rosenbaum, supra n. 16, at 234-36.

18. Rosenbaum, supra n. 16 at 239. For more discussion of the effects of neighborhood moves, see Ingrid Gould Ellen and Margery Austin Turner, "Does Neighborhood Matter? Assessing Recent Evidence," 8:4 Housing Policy Debate 833 (1997); and Xavier de Souza Briggs, "Moving Up versus Moving Out: Neighborhood Effects in Housing Mobility Programs," 8:1 Housing Policy Debate 195 (1997).

19. Through the use of tenant-based assistance and a variety of services designed to promote mobility, MTO assisted 860 families living in public housing or project-based Section 8 developments in high-poverty neighborhoods in five cities (Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York) to move to low-poverty neighborhoods. The outcomes for these families will be tested against two control groups — 816 families from the same or similar developments who used tenant-based assistance to move to areas of their choice (mostly outside low-poverty areas) and a similar number of families who remained in their public or subsidized housing developments. John Goering, Joan Kraft, Judith Feins, Debra, McInnis, Mary Joel Holin, and Huda Elhassan, Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program: Current Status and Initial Findings, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Policy Development & Research, 1999.

20. Goering et al, supra n. 19, p. 44.

21. Lawrence F. Katz, Jeffrey R. Kling, Jeffrey B. Liebman, Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Impacts of a Housing Mobility Program, Unpublished Preliminary Draft, 1999.

22. Xavier de Souza Briggs, Ed., Yonkers Revisited: The Early Impacts of Scattered-Site Public Housing on Families and Neighborhoods, A Report to the Ford Foundation from the Yonkers Family & Community Project, July 1997.

23. For example, a study in Minneapolis, Minnesota found that children's reading scores decreased as the frequency of family moves increased. While significant, the predictive effect of mobility was not as great as for certain other factors, such as minority status, free lunch status, attendance rate, English spoken at home, and living with both parents. The study also found that mobility was one of the strongest predictors of attendance, suggesting that frequent moves impair school performance by decreasing attendance rates. As most of the families who moved did not actually change schools (due in part to special efforts by the school district to prevent such changes), it appears that multiple moves impair attendance rates even when the child stays in the same school. For more information, see "A Report from the Kids Mobility Project," March 1998; the separately bound Appendix titled "Finding from the Minneapolis Student Mobility Research File," February 1998; Karla Buerkle, "Mobile Children and Families: Qualitative and Quantitative Explorations of the Meaning and Impact of Residential Mobility and School Change," 1997; and Judith K. Tenenbaum, "An Extended Review of the Literature: The Impact of Frequent Family Moves on School Achievement and Development for Low-Income Families." Copies of these documents may be obtained from the Hennepin County Office of Planning & Development, Government Center A-2308, 300 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, MN 55487-0238, (612) 348-4466. See also Richard Rothstein, "Inner-City Nomad: Route to Low Grades," New York Times, January 19, 2000, p. B9.

24. For a review of the literature on the influence of neighborhood on children's educational attainment, see Ellen and Turner, supra n. 18, at pp. 850-51 See also Jens Ludwig and Helen F. Ladd, The Effects of MTO on Educational Opportunities in Baltimore: Early Evidence, Joint Center for Poverty Research Working Paper, February 1998 and Larry Cuban, "Housing, Not School, Vouchers Are Best Remedy for Failing Schools," Los Angeles Times, January 31, 1999, p. M2.

25. Rosenbaum, supra n. 16, pp. 241-244.

26. Allan R. Meyers et al., "Housing Subsidies and Pediatric Undernutrition,"Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine (1995), 149:1079-1084.

27. Allan R. Meyers et. al, "Public Housing Subsidies May Improve Poor Children's Nutrition,"American Journal of Public Health (1993), 83:115. Building on Meyers' work, a study called the Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Project (C-SNAP) is now underway in six cities to determine the extent to which the growth patterns of children under three are correlated with their families' housing status, income and nutritional and health benefits. Information on C-SNAP is available on the Internet at http://dcc2.bumc.bu.edu/CsnapPublic.

28. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, "Iron deficiency: Toddlers, teenagers and women at risk," 1997, available on the Internet at: http://www.mayohealth.org/mayo/9704/htm/iron_def.htm.

29. For more information on how children's health may be adversely impacted by housing problems see the related reports: "Not Safe at Home: How America's Housing Crisis Threatens the Health of Its Children," A Research Report by the Doc4Kids Project of Boston Medical Center, Children's Hospital, 1998, available on the Internet at: http://www.bmc.org/program/doc4kids; and "There's No Place Like Home: How America's Housing Crisis Threatens Our Children," a version of this report written with Housing America, available on the Internet at: http://www.igc.org/housingamerica/execsumm.html.

30. Katz, Kling and Liebman, supra n. 21. The experimental design of the MTO program and the nature of the two control groups is explained in footnote 19.

31. 8:4 Housing Policy Debate, 1997, pp. 851-852.

32. Early data from the MTO demonstration project, described supra p. 7, suggest that providing families with housing assistance that enables them to relocate outside areas of high poverty concentration can help reduce the number of violent crimes that children in those families commit. See Jens Ludwig, Greg J. Duncan and Paul Hirschfield, Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment, Draft, August, 1999, available on the Internet at: http://www.jcpr.org/wpfiles/LUDWIGediforweb2-7-2000.PDF.