The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development seeks to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes affect low-income communities and their residents. Based in Cleveland, the Center views the city as both a tool for building communities and producing change locally, and as a representative urban center from which nationally-relevant research and policy implications can be drawn.
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Mandel School Faculty Receive $2.3 Million to Study Child Maltreatment

Jun 23 2014

NICHHD logoMandel School faculty Claudia Coulton and David Crampton, along with Case Western Reserve faculty colleagues Jill Korbin and Jim Spilsbury, received a $2.3 million grant last month from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to investigate how neighborhoods influence child maltreatment rates.

Led by principal investigator Jim Spilsbury, the team of researchers will study child maltreatment in 20 Cleveland neighborhoods, examining the role that neighborhood conditions, social service availability and use, and the maltreatment reporting process play in influencing child abuse and neglect rates. The investigators are partnering with Cuyahoga County’s Division of Children and Family Services to interview caseworkers assigned to the studied neighborhood. Residents will be interviewed, and census data, property records, social service reports and day care records will be analyzed. The study is a collaboration among the Mandel School, the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve.

The research builds upon a National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect-funded study conducted in the mid-1990s by Coulton and Korbin, which found that Cleveland neighborhood rates of child maltreatment varied widely and that neighborhood conditions such as high childcare burden, concentrated poverty and residential instability had an impact on the presence or lack of child maltreatment.

To see the full grant announcement in The CWRU Daily, click here.

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NIMC’s Joseph in New York Times: Separate but equal is slippery slope

May 23 2014

nytLogoDirector of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, Dr. Mark L. Joseph, commented on a growing practice of amenity exclusion in the New York Times article “What’s next, a Bouncer?” on May 16, 2014. The separation of amenities is becoming more frequent in New York City’s apartment buildings where there is a mix of high-income, market-rate tenants and low-income, rent-regulated tenants. Developers argue they are building amenities to attract market-rate renters as justification for prohibiting subsided residents from using the services. Joseph is quoted, “There’s a slippery slope here. What if the next amenity to be created and kept exclusive is a snack bar, or a reading room, or a business and technology center?”

Developers have also started building separate lobbies for affordable and market-rate residents. The NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy provided data showing not only do rent-regulated tenants earn less, they are likely to be elderly and minorities.

Joseph’s mixed-income research in Chicago has shown as soon as you begin segregating people with differential access to parts of the environment, it can lead to marginalization, stigmatization and second-class service and amenities. He recommends developers keep the common amenities, lobbies and entryways and invest more proactively and heavily in community building to guide residents toward shared expectations and accountability for common space. Though there has been little evidence of social connections and social mobility through mixed-income development, Joseph’s argument is that we haven’t done it well enough yet. Separating the incomes within the mixed-income developments is giving up on the possibility of more than just shared residence in improving communities – which is an improvement, but not upward mobility.

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Plain Dealer: FitzGerald’s Pre-K Proposal

May 21 2014

JESPARA 2013 report from the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development on the benefits of prekindergarten education was cited by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in “FitzGerald’s universal preschool proposal: What you’re saying” on May 15, 2014. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is running for Ohio Governor and announced the day before that he would be making his “Pre-K All the Way” plan for universal prekindergarten a primary policy of his campaign.

The Poverty Center report “Getting Ready for School: Piloting Universal Prekindergarten in an Urban County” in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk is cited in the story as having found “lower-achieving children attending pre-K programs in Cuyahoga County made bigger gains and exceeded expectations compared to already high-achieving children.”

“Getting Ready for School” was written by Center Co-Director Dr. Rob Fischer, former staff researcher and doctoral student Lancer Peterson, doctoral assistant Tirth Bhatta, and Center Co-Director Dr. Claudia Coulton.

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development is a research center at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, a graduate school of social work at Case Western Reserve University.

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