Promoting Work in Public Housing: The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus

Promoting Work in Public Housing: The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus

According to a study by MDRC, a nonprofit social policy research group, the right combination of employment services and flexible approaches to rent can dramatically increase earnings for residents in public housing. The study, Promoting Work in Public Housing: The Effectiveness of Jobs-Plus (executive summary; full document, 291 pages, PDF), looks at Jobs-Plus, an employment program implemented in public housing developments in six U.S. cities from 1998 to 2003. Sponsored by a consortium of public and private funders led by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New York City-based Rockefeller Foundation, Jobs-Plus offered residents support services to find and keep jobs, as well as rent-based financial incentives. In cities where the model was fully implemented (Los Angeles, St. Paul, and Dayton, Ohio), wage gains were consistent, with average earnings increasing by 14 percent, or $4,563, over the last four years of the project. The other test cities were Seattle, Baltimore, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.