Current Research Projects
NYU's Furman Center is carrying out research projects in housing finance and foreclosure, affordable housing, land use regulation, and neighborhood change. We highlight two below. Fuller descriptions of current research projects are available at the link below.
Do Housing Vouchers Improve Educational Outcomes for Low-Income Children?
The Furman Center is collaborating with NYU’s Institute for Education and Social Policy to explore whether low-income households use housing vouchers to reach neighborhoods with higher-performing schools, and whether children’s academic performance improves after receiving a voucher. We will use a new dataset, the School Attendance Boundary Information System (SABINS), to compare the quality of the schools in the zones in which housing voucher holders live to the quality of the schools in the zones where other assisted households live, as well as those in the zones where other poor but unassisted households live. We also explore whether voucher holders have been more successful in moving to neighborhoods with higher-performing schools in some cities, and if so, why. We will also use student level data in New York City to probe more deeply into these questions.
Creating a Metric of Educational Opportunities for Assisted Households
HUD’s strategic plan identifies the use of “housing as a platform for improving quality of life” as one of its five strategic goals. It further establishes a sub-goal to improve educational outcomes and early learning and development for children in HUD-assisted housing. We released a working paper in February 2011 that is intended to advise HUD about how to use readily available data to create a metric for school quality. This metric is the measure of success in providing “access to school scores at or above the local average” for children in assisted households. This score will allow HUD to identify metropolitan areas to target for mobility efforts and to track progress over time. Our working paper presented a case study using New York City data; we are currently working to extend this analysis to analyze the relative quality of the local public elementary schools accessible to all HUD-assisted households, for the 100 largest metropolitan areas and all 50 states.