by Martha Ross, Sarah Sattelmeyer, and Margy Waller
The geographical hallmarks
of suburbanization—lower population densities and greater travel
distances—combined with the decline in real wages, leave workers facing
difficult decisions. Confronted with this situation, some low-wage
workers are making "opportunity moves" in order to better access jobs,
safe neighborhoods, high-performing school systems, and other
resources. National decisionmakers have not made the development of
affordable housing in opportunity neighborhoods an important goal, nor
have they given priority to the movement of low-wage workers out of
distressed neighborhoods into opportunity neighborhoods.
report, we examine housing assistance and mobility initiatives as well
as illustrate practices and policies that encourage success for
low-wage workers moving to opportunity neighborhoods. In cases in which
policymakers do not explicitly give priority to helping low-wage
workers move to or stay in opportunity neighborhoods, they have
unrealized potential to do so. We offer examples of successful mobility
initiatives and provide recommendations focused on a mix of federal,
state, and local policies. State and local leaders can support and
pursue the federal recommendations in order to provide greater access
to better neighborhoods for their area's low-wage workers, making
communities stronger and healthier for all of us.
Read the full report here.