Grantee Profile

Urban Institute

Grants to Urban Institute

  • $1,595,000Active Strategy

    2016 (Duration 3 years, 11 months)


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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 ( 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.

  • $1,840,000Active Strategy

    2016 (Duration 1 year, 11 months)

    Criminal Justice

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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.

  • $500,000Active Strategy

    2016 (Duration 1 year, 11 months)


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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.

  • $650,000Active Strategy

    2015 (Inactive Grant)

    Digital Media & Learning

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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.

  • $400,000Active Strategy

    2014 (Inactive Grant)

    Community & Economic Development

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to inform the development of sound public policies and more effective government. This grant supports its National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a 35-city network of data intermediaries who have developed neighborhood-level information systems used to support urban revitalization efforts. The goals of the work are increased capacity among NNIP partners to provide information services to their cities; greater and faster dissemination of information and spread of promising practices across the network; increased visibility of NNIP among new audiences and potential stakeholders, and expansion of NNIP activities to new cities and partners.

  • $175,000Active Strategy

    2014 (Duration 2 years, 6 months)

    Community & Economic Development

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — 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.

  • $790,000Active Strategy

    2014 (Duration 3 years, 11 months)


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — As a nonpartisan think tank, the Urban Institute’s mission is to gather data, conduct research and evaluations and offer technical assistance to promote and advance sound public policy and effective government. It will use this grant to bridge research, practice, and policy on topics supported under the Foundation’s How Housing Matters to Families and Communities (HHM) research initiative. Through cross-disciplinary roundtables and other strategic communications activities, the Urban Institute will identify policy innovations and highlight practical solutions that connect housing with education, health, economic inequality, economic growth and aging.

  • $200,000

    2014 (Duration 2 years, 4 months)

    What We're Exploring: Cities, Information, and Governance

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research organization that works to build knowledge about social and economic issues and develop evidence-based solutions. This grant funds a two-year project to shape an urban Sustainable Development Goal within the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda and explore the opportunities that this framework will create to help cities around the world improve their capacity to use information to address complex challenges. If successful, the project will contribute to the launch of an urban Sustainable Development Goal that will influence the urban planning and development pathways and priorities of countries worldwide.

  • $350,000Active Strategy

    2014 (Inactive Grant)

    Digital Media & Learning

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Urban Institute is a non-partisan economic and social policy research organization with more than 40 years of experience examining a range of issues affecting cities and communities. The Institute will use this grant to develop an implementation framework for the Cities of Learning initiative - a prototype project that uses the entire city as a campus for learning; including an approach to documentation and evaluation and a plan for establishing a network of policymakers and practitioners among six cities currently implementing the Cities of Learning initiative (Chicago, Los Angeles, the District of Columbia, Columbus, Dallas and Pittsburgh).

  • $420,000Active Strategy

    2013 (Inactive Grant)


    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Urban Institute is an independent, non-partisan, policy research center that analyzes urban affairs and produces publications of broad relevance to policymakers, program administrators, business and academic communities. With this grant, the Institute will host a series of roundtables on research topics supported by the Foundation’s How Housing Matters initiative, to promote connections between the research and relevant policy and practice, and to identify policy innovations and practical solutions that connect housing with other institutions and service delivery systems.

The MacArthur Foundation awarded Urban Institute $6,920,000 between 1978 and 2016.

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