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Project-based housing and access opportunity, improved resident outcomes, and stronger neighborhoods
There has been impressive progress in recent years in understanding the role of neighborhoods in the life outcomes of children. We believe PD&R could complement this progress with a new focus on the potential of well managed affordable rental housing to improve outcomes for residents. Questions could focus on seniors, families, or children; on residents in low-income, gentrifying, or higher-income neighborhoods; and could compare residents with project-based assistance to those with vouchers or to households with similar characteristics living in unassisted housing in this same neighborhood. We believe that valuable information could be gained from exploring the following questions:

• Many urban neighborhoods that experienced concentrations of racial minorities, poverty, and/or economic distress in the mid-1980s are now thriving communities with access to jobs, services, transportation, and other important amenities and opportunities. What can be learned from HUD’s efforts to preserve existing affordable rental housing (especially HUD-assisted housing) in those neighborhoods and the resulting preservation of these affordable assets during and after the revitalization of these neighborhoods?

• What strategies are most effective in allowing low-income children to access and benefit from better educational opportunities in areas where school choice separates them from neighborhood schools?

• Do children living in assisted affordable rental housing in low-income neighborhoods experience more or fewer school moves or different educational outcomes than similar children living in other housing?

• What types of preservation efforts have the greatest impact on residents’ perceptions of safety, their engagement in outdoor exercise, and their health?

• What has HUD learned from the Choice Neighborhoods experience about the services and amenities that have the greatest impact on residents of low-income neighborhoods?

• What strategies can HUD, property owners, and local stakeholders follow to mitigate the impact of the trauma experienced by children and other residents of distressed neighborhoods?

• What are the health care costs of dual-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) seniors who live in HUD-assisted housing compared to dual-eligible seniors living in other housing?

• What choices for buildings and landscaping are most successful or cost-effective for reducing water use?

• What are the barriers to building credit for low-income households, and what can HUD do to improve credit-building efforts?

Thanks for your consideration of our suggestions.

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