2018 • 2 years • Impact Investments
The Urban Institute is a nonprofit research organization that, for more than 50 years, has brought objective analysis and expertise to the challenges of formulating sound policy and capable practice regarding cities. The organization will plan, organize and execute a three-day conference to mark the culmination of the Foundation’s affordable housing work. The conference has three main goals: 1) to share learnings from the accomplishments, challenges, innovations and progress of the nonprofit developers and specialized funding vehicles supported through the Window of Opportunity initiative; 2) highlight the findings generated through the How Housing Matters body of research; and 3) continue the work of making connections and building partnerships capable of securing, sustaining, and amplifying the impact of the Foundation’s 20 years of investments in housing across the country. Grant funds will be used for conference costs, including planning and coordination, venue, registration, travel, food and accommodations for conference participants, videos and case studies, creation and publication of conference materials, and media relations.
2018 • 2 years • Criminal Justice
Established in 1968, the Urban Institute (Urban) conducts economic and social policy research and evaluation to understand and solve real-world challenges in a rapidly urbanizing environment. The award enables Urban to administer and manage the second phase of the Safety and Justice Challenge Innovation Fund (the Fund). The Fund engages and supports targeted efforts in competitively selected jurisdictions to safely reduce the misuse and overuse of jails through project grants combined with technical assistance. Urban’s plans include continuing to engage and support the first cohort of Innovation Fund sites as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge Network, and selecting and supporting a new cohort of sites through an open request for application process to seed reform ideas and activities more broadly. In this second phase, Urban expands the Challenge Network reach and scope, helping identify sites for deeper investment as implementation sites, while expanding the number of jurisdictions participating in the initiative, building capacity for more ambitious efforts and accelerating progress in systems reform nationwide.
2018 • 7 months • Impact Investments
The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization whose work engages communities at multiple levels to understand the challenges facing America’s cities, will undertake a set of activities designed to generate conversation and ideas for the Chicago area’s newly-established Opportunity Zones. With this award, the Urban Institute is convening two meetings to gain insights from local stakeholders and raise awareness about this new Federal program. The meetings aid stakeholders in thinking about the civic infrastructure needed to support investments in the Opportunity Zones; aligning this forthcoming investment with other public, private, and philanthropic investment; and elevating different types of approaches that stakeholders can use. These two events, plus a resulting brief, engage investors looking to invest in Opportunity Zones with those looking to support targeted communities.
2017 • 1 year, 11 months • Impact Investments
The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization whose work engages communities at multiple levels—city, state, and country—to understand the challenges facing America’s cities, will conduct a study that: a) establishes definitional clarity on place-based impact investing as a practical concept; b) advances understanding of the key goals, objectives, and approaches of practitioners in order to make recommendations based on the current state of the field; and c) shares resources with the field to lower barriers for new initiatives and facilitate knowledge exchange among existing stakeholders. The study includes research around capital caps, an elemental mapping of existing practices, a shared knowledge convening, and public dissemination to strengthen and increase understanding of place-based impact investing.
2016 • 2 years, 3 months • Criminal Justice
Established in 1968, the Urban Institute (Urban) conducts economic and social policy research and evaluation to understand and solve real-world challenges in a rapidly urbanizing environment. Its mission is to help expand opportunities for all people, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health of governments and effectiveness of public policies. The award supports Urban to establish and host the Safety and Justice Challenge Innovation Fund to engage and support local jurisdictions in addressing over-incarceration by safely reducing the misuse and overuse of jails. Designed to complement the initiative’s deep investment in 20 core and partner sites to implement systems reform, Urban’s plans include making small grants combined with technical assistance to local jurisdictions to seed reform ideas and activities more broadly. The Innovation Fund extends the initiative's scope and expands the number of jurisdictions participating in the Safety and Justice Challenge Network, helping to build capacity for more ambitious efforts and to accelerate progress nationwide.
2016 • 4 years • Housing
The Urban Institute (Urban) is a non-partisan think tank with the mission to provide an evidence base that informs dialogue and decisions, and offers solutions through economic and social policy research. Urban is taking on the management of the How Housing Matters web portal (www.howhousingmatters.org) which makes accessible the growing body of literature that is illuminating the pathways through which decent, stable affordable housing makes a difference in people’s lives, beyond shelter. Urban is enhancing the site’s content and functionality in order to engage practitioners, policymakers, and researchers across disciplines, arming them with actionable evidence and best practices on how housing can align and integrate with other social policies and programs to improve individual and community well-being.
2016 • 2 years • Housing
The Housing Finance Policy Center (the Center) serves as a hub for informed dialogue among policymakers, practitioners, advocates, academics, and banking and finance experts. It conducts high-quality, evidence-based analysis of the forces affecting the availability and cost of credit for housing, as well as the impact of policy on housing markets, communities, and households. The Center’s research and analyses –including a monthly chartbook – informs sound housing and housing finance policy. It provides participants inside and outside of the housing finance industry with an independent and objective evidence base from which to speak and engage in the regulatory and legislative policy debates that focus on housing finance, capital markets and financial regulation. Grant support allows the Center to expand its work to include research on credit availability, access and affordability, and multifamily housing.
2016 • 2 years • What We're Exploring: Cities, Information, and Governance
The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan policy research organization that conducts research, analysis and public education on a range of economic and social policy issues. Since 1995, the Urban Institute’s staff have managed the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a peer learning network of local data organizations in 35 cities that has developed neighborhood-level information systems that are used to inform urban planning and development efforts. This final renewal award for the NNIP enables Urban Institute staff to continue to support a network that is recognized as a critical component of infrastructure for the urban development field and the broader non-profit sector. Expected outcomes of the grant include increased capacity among NNIP partner organizations to provide information services to entities working in their cities; broader, faster dissemination of information and greater adoption of data-informed practices across the network; and expansion of NNIP activities to new cities and partners.
2015 • 1 year, 3 months • Digital Media & Learning
The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan, economic and social policy research organization with over 40 years of experience examining a range of issues affecting cities and communities. The Urban Institute is using grant funds to carry out a set of activities to support the Cities of Learning, a new MacArthur-led effort designed to align city resources, connect in- and out-of-school learning, and advance workforce development to prepare young people for college, career, and citizenship. Cities of Learning is the culmination of MacArthur's grantmaking in digital media and learning, building on the new knowledge, tools, and prototypes that have emerged from research and design experiments supported over the past ten years. With grant funds, the Urban Institute is providing guidance and expertise to new and emerging Cities of Learning locations on approaches to data sharing and governance; working with other national partners to develop readiness criteria for new locations; creating and launching a detailed plan to evaluate the initiative; and acting as a resource for national partners and cities on workforce development and governance Issues.
2014 • 2 years, 7 months • Community & Economic Development
As part of the Foundation’s anti-violence program, support is being provided to the Urban Institute to study the Foundation-sponsored Violence Reduction Strategy—a partnership with the Chicago Police Department and local criminal justice agencies to reduce violence. The comprehensive initiative aims to reduce gun violence dramatically by holding entire gangs responsible for individual members’ crimes, especially homicides. This grant will enable researchers from the Urban Institute and Yale University to extend the period of the ongoing evaluation of the implementation and impact of the Violence Reduction Strategy.