Also: Mass shootings are destroying a sense of public space, and how much traffic do Uber and Lyft cause?
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What We’re Following
Vouch for it: Housing vouchers help millions of low-income families in the United States pay their rent with federal aid. The program, also known as Section 8, has been simple and effective, but it’s also showing its age. While vouchers are supposed to offer families a choice about where to live, recipients often end up packed into high-poverty areas. A new tool from Seattle, however—designed with the help of Harvard economist Raj Chetty and his Opportunity Insights team—shows how just a few additional services can help housing aid become a better tool for social mobility.
Researchers studied an ongoing program that helps families navigate rental applications and assists landlords with the process of accepting vouchers. By educating both tenants and landlords, the Seattle experiment dramatically boosted the share of families who were able to move to neighborhoods that offered more opportunities. “What makes it effective is not just that the money is provided but that it’s administered in just the right way,” one of the researchers tells CityLab’s Kriston Capps. “The word that comes to mind is ‘relief.’” Read the story: A Cheap, Powerful Tool to Beat Housing Segregation
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