Can Unemployment Numbers Predict the Number of Mortgages That Will Go into Forbearance? (Urban Institute)

Estimating how many of the 33.4 million borrowers who have government-backed mortgages will ask for forbearance in the coming months is critical for policymakers to know how much support mortgage servicers require to remain operational. Most mortgage market analysts have modeled homeowners’ forbearance take-up on the unemployment rate. The researchers explain how complicated this calculation is, that it should be based on the homeowner unemployment rate, not the overall unemployment rate, and offer three reasons the forbearance rate might be higher than the homeowner unemployment rate and three reasons it might be lower.

The Mortgage Market Has Caught the Virus (Urban Institute)

While the nation’s housing and mortgage markets aren’t causing the broader economic disruption in this crisis, as they did in the last, they are suffering from its effects. The authors discuss how these markets are straining under the weight of the disruption, what policymakers should do about it and what longer term implications we should draw from the experience.

Data Snapshot of Youth Incarceration in Ohio (Urban Institute)

Consistent with national trends, youth incarceration in Ohio has declined significantly during the past decade. Notably, however, the average daily population in the state’s youth prisons actually increased each year between 2016 and 2019. Reductions in youth incarceration allowed the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) to close five of its eight juvenile correctional facilities over the last decade, yet the state still spends one-third of its juvenile justice budget on these facilities. Further, though racial and ethnic inequities in Ohio’s juvenile justice system declined in the past several years, significant disparities persist, particularly for Black youth. This data snapshot explores youth incarceration in Ohio and provides data to state partners working with the YouthFirst Initiative, a national advocacy campaign supporting state juvenile justice reform efforts.

Catalyzing Policing Reform with Data: Technical Appendix (Urban Institute)

In the report Catalyzing Police Reform with Data: Policing Typology for Los Angeles Neighborhoods, we created a typology that elucidates the relationship between resident-initiated and police-initiated activity in the City of Los Angeles, as well as explore how that relationship varies across neighborhoods, by synthesizing data sources on calls for service, stops, arrests, and crime. The open data come from the Los Angeles Open Data Portal, the American Community Survey, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This Technical Appendix provides a detailed description of the data sources and methodology used to develop the typology, including processing the raw data, conducting a cluster analysis using Gaussian mixture models (GMM) and performing a stability analysis to identify how individual variables drive clustering. Our code for processing and analyzing the data is on GitHub.

Catalyzing Policing Reform with Data. Policing Typology for Los Angeles Neighborhoods (Urban Institute)

Strong community-police relationships are essential to public safety, and these relationships influence how communities engage with the police. We created a typology based on multiple aspects of policing that reveals a relationship between resident-initiated and police-initiated activity, and explores how that relationship varies across neighborhoods. We found that resident calls for service and police stops and arrests generally increase together, and neighborhoods with high amounts of activity tend to have a greater proportion of violent crime and serious calls for service. The neighborhoods with high activity also tend to have wider racial disparities in stops and arrests, and more economic hardship. This neighborhood-policing typology can inform conversations about police reform in Los Angeles and also serve as an example of how open data can be a powerful tool for local movements for a more equitable criminal justice system in other cities.

Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings (Urban Institute)

Federal tax law provides substantial tax incentives for retirement saving. These include the deferral of taxes on contributions to retirement savings accounts by employers, employees, and self-employed taxpayers and the earnings on these contributions until the funds are withdrawn in retirement for traditional retirement accounts; the exemption of investment income accrued within retirement accounts for Roth retirement accounts; and a retirement savings tax credit for low-income taxpayers. This chartbook explores the implications of current-law income tax incentives for retirement savings, illustrates alternative ways of measuring the tax benefits they generate, and analyzes the distributional impacts of alternative tax proposals to encourage retirement saving. We find that tax incentives for retirement saving provide the largest benefits as a share of income to upper-middle-income taxpayers.

Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis: Subsidizing Jobs for Economic Recovery (Urban Institute)

Join Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, for the fourth installment in Urban’s conversation series, Evidence to Action. During this virtual event, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D- WI) will discuss her efforts to create a subsidized employment program. Following that, Demetra Nightingale, Institute fellow at the Urban Institute, and Indivar Dutta-Gupta, co–executive director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, will join Wartell to explore why subsidized jobs could be integral to our economic recovery.

What’s Next for the CRA? (Urban Institute)

Regulations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) have not been substantially updated since 1995—notwithstanding enormous changes in the financial services system and many aborted attempts.  Last December, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation proposed a regulation that would vastly change how banks are evaluated under the CRA; comments were due April 8. As bankers, communities, and policymakers consider the proposal, what are their thoughts about its impact? On communities? On banks large and small; urban, rural, regional, and national; virtual and traditional? How has COVID-19 influenced those evaluations? A panel of experts will consider these issues, as well as procedural concerns with the proposal, including the Federal Reserve Board’s decision not to join in.

  • Laurie Goodman, Vice President and Codirector, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • Buzz Roberts, President and CEO, National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
  • Krista Shonk, Vice President, Regulatory Compliance Policy, American Bankers Association
  • Josh Silver, Senior Advisor, National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • Mark Willis, Senior Policy Fellow, New York University Furman Center
  • Ellen Seidman, Nonresident Fellow, Urban Institute (moderator)