Choosing Opportunities: Reducing Racial Inequality with Choice Neighborhoods, Wrap-Around Services, and Case Management

Can a comprehensive neighborhood redevelopment and relocation program reduce racial inequality in education for Black youth?

Historic, systematic underinvestment driven by racist policies and economic marginalization has created racially segregated neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty, exacerbating educational inequality. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) was designed to transform such neighborhoods by improving housing, the neighborhood itself, its schools, and the lives of the people living there through mixed-income housing redevelopment, community-based wrap-around services, and case management. Jabbari and team will study three CNI sites to ask whether and how this place-based initiative improves educational outcomes for Black youth. They will conduct a series of student-, school-, and neighborhood-level analyses to test the impact of CNI policies on academic outcomes. They will also examine if impacts vary for families that stay in or return to CNI neighborhoods after redevelopment compared to families who leave CNI neighborhoods and for families who use the case management services compared to those who do not. The team will use in-depth qualitative interviews with case managers and residents to understand the experiences of families in CNI neighborhoods. This study would uniquely contribute to existing knowledge in its examination of cross-system service coordination and in its exploration of the mechanisms through which place-based interventions do or do not improve outcomes.

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