THA McCarver Elementary Special Housing Program Evaluation Reports

THA contracted with Geo Education & Research to assess the outcomes of the McCarver Special Housing Program. In their Year Two report, Geo concludes, in the second year of the Tacoma Housing Authority McCarver Special Housing Program, parents and students made considerable progress toward their goals of housing stability, eventual financial self-sufficiency, and improved performance in school for children. The Program provides a wide range of services to young McCarver students and their families who were previously homeless or on the verge of becoming homeless. Many partners contributed to a broad collaboration effort that included staff from THA, McCarver Elementary School, Tacoma Public Schools, and other organizations in the Tacoma community.

Links to THA's McCarver Evaluation Design Reports

THA McCarver Special Housing Program Evaluation Report 2012 

Evaluation Design and Initial Findings (July 5, 2012) [PDF]

Evaluation Design and Year One Findings (October 1, 2012) [PDF]

THA McCarver Special Housing Program 2013 Evaluation Report

Evaluation Design and Year Two Findings (January 30, 2014) [PDF]

THA McCarver Special Housing Program 2014 Evaluation Report

Evaluation Design and Year Three Findings (February 10, 2015) [PDF]

See more on the Education Project webpage.

Research Relating to Housing, Homelessness, and the Education of Children

There is substantial research demonstrating the negative effect of homelessness on the academic development of children. Below are current research reports, including a THA analysis that led to the implementation of the McCarver Special Housing Program:

Review of Literature on the Effect of Mobility on School Achievement [PDF]
Tacoma Housing Authority, 2009

The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education: a Research Summary [PDF]
Center for Housing Policy and National Housing Conference, 2011

Overview of Published Studies on the Characteristics and Needs of Homeless Families [PDF]
National Center on Family Homelessness, 2007

Housing is an Essential Foundation for Children to Succeed in School [PDF]
Building Changes, 2013

Housing and Early Education: Strategies for Bridging the Gap and Reducing Student Mobility [PDF]
Strategies for Children, 2013

Housing is a Platform to meet ambitious Health and Education Goals in Washington State [PDF]
Building Changes, 2013

THA’s McCarver Special Housing Program: Financial Benefit to Tacoma Public Schools [PDF]
Tacoma Housing Authority, 2013

Beds Not Busses: Housing vs. Transportation for Homeless Students [PDF]
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty in Collaboration With Columbia Legal Services, 2011

List of Citations [PDF]
Tacoma Housing Authority, 2014



Other Research

Hope VI Close Out Evaluation 2010 [PDF]

In 2000, THA was awarded a $35 million HOPE VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize the original 855-unit, 188-acre public housing development in East Tacoma named Salishan. Salishan was originally constructed in 1943 by the federal government as housing for World War II workers. THA acquired Salishan in 1954. By 2000, both the housing and infrastructure was worn out. THA's goals in redeveloping Salishan were to create a mixed income, mixed use, racial & ethnically diverse community. This report conducted by Abt Associates indicates that THA met most of its goals: the neighborhood is more diverse than the original development, in terms of race, ethnicity and income; crime has substantially decreased; educational achievement has increase; the labor force hired to construct Salishan was diverse and the economic impacts were felt locally. Through a series of interviews with community stakeholders, the consensus has been unanimous that the Salishan Redevelopment has had a very positive impact on its surrounding East Tacoma neighborhood. Due to the large size of the development, people have commented that Salishan is truly the development of an entirely new neighborhood that is a beacon for the surrounding community.

Salishan Community Health Assessment (Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department 2009) [PDF]

Salishan is a mixture of public housing and market-rate single-family homes and apartment homes. The Tacoma Housing Authority and the Salishan Homeowners’ Association have diverse partnerships to provide services to the residents of this property and the surrounding community. The Comprehensive Health Education Foundation (CHEF) has maintained a partnership with the Salishan community through the funding of healthy eating and active living programs such as the Community Kitchen Program. CHEF had pursued other funding opportunities for Salishan but was advised to complete a health assessment to gain a better perspective of the health issues at Salishan. In September 2009, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department was approached by CHEF to conduct a community health assessment for Salishan. The goals of this assessment were to (1) gain a better understanding of the health issues in Salishan, (2) gather feedback from residents about what health related improvements residents would like to see in Salishan, and (3) prioritize recommendations that would ultimately lead to better health outcomes in Salishan. This report has the results of this assessment.

Tacoma Housing Authority's Effort To Enroll Its Students In Washington State's College Bound Scholarship Program during School Years 2008-2009 through 2011-2013: An Assessment of a Public Housing Authority's Ability to Promote Education (Tacoma Housing Authority 2013) [PDF]

In this report, THA reviews its efforts from the 2008-2009 to 2011-2013 school years to enroll students of its resident families in Washington State's College Bound Scholarship (CBS) program. The Washington State legislature created the CBS program in 2008. The Program makes a valuable promise to Washington State low income students. It promises that if they graduate from high school with at least a 2.0 GPA (and stay out of serious trouble) the state will make it financially possible for them to attend college. However, to be eligible for this program, the student and his or her parent or guardian must sign up for it by the end of their 8th grade school year. In any year, 7th and 8th graders can enroll. (Since 2008 was the first full year of the program, the legislature allowed 9th graders to sign up that year only.) If they do not sign up on time and enroll, then they miss this valuable chance. THA has resolved each year to enroll all the eligible students living in its properties or participating in its rental assistance programs. The report recounts what it tried and the results. As the report notes, THA's efforts were pretty successful. In 2011-2013, approximately 100% of Tacoma students, including THA students, enrolled. (Due to student mobility, we cannot ever be sure that 100% of students are signed up.) This compares with 81% throughout the State. The report assesses ways THA will continue to support this program in following years. The report also reviews why this effort is important.

Tacoma Housing Authority's Review of its Homeownership Program (Tacoma Housing Authority 2008) [PDF]

THA has completely redeveloped its public housing community of Salishan. It has demolished the 855 public housing units in Old Salishan and is rebuilding a new neighborhood of affordable apartments, homes for sale, and commercial buildings. THA had to relocate 855 households. As part of this effort, THA sought to identify those households who wanted to purchase a home and who could be made ready for a responsible purchase. Its homeownership programs then spent considerable time and money helping them find and afford a home. Partly as a result of these efforts, 100 of the 855 displaced households moved into a home they bought. A portion of these did so through THA’s homeownership programs. Others purchased without help. When the national mortgage market collapsed with a highlight on troubling lending practices, THA wanted to track the outcomes for those Salishan families who had purchased homes, whether or not through THA’s programs. THA also wished to know the outcomes of families from outside Salishan who participated in THA’s programs and who purchased homes. THA staff wrote this report to find out. In general, the results show the high value of both homeownership classes and mentoring through the purchase process as a way to protect first time homebuyers from poor financing choices.

Quadrant Homes: Assessment of Diversity at Salishan and New Home Communities in Washington (Fair Housing Center of Washington 2007) [PDF]

Quadrant Homes was the homebuilder partner with Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) for most of the single-family homes in Phase I of the Salishan Redevelopment. In its marketing efforts, THA and Quadrant sought a racially diverse pool of potential purchasers for all homes in Phase I. In this report, the Fair Housing Center of Washington assessed the results of these efforts. As the report indicates, the efforts were quite successful. In recognition of these efforts and their success, the Center awarded THA its Housing Justice Award for 2008.

THA Review of Its Katrina Relief Plan 2006 (Tacoma Housing Authority 2006) [PDF]

In August 2005, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, the levees failed in New Orleans. The resulting flooding caused the greatest loss of housing in American history from a single event. It was the most extensive destruction of an American city since the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. It also displaced thousands of households across the United States. Some of them landed in Tacoma. In response, THA and other organizations in Pierce County collaborated to receive them. It was a test of THA’s ability to provide emergency housing and supportive services, something it is not set up to do. In all, 107 households sought assistance from the Pierce County collaboration. Forty (40) received housing. After the excitement was over, THA examined how well it performed in the emergency. This report describes its experience and offers its assessment.

THA Homeownership Outcome Report (2008) [PDF]

 This report will recount THA’s efforts to assist low income families in all of THA’s homeownership programs to date.  THA homeownership programs began in 2003 when THA was awarded the 2002 HUD ROSS Homeownership Supportive Services grant. The Authority has added many homeownership program resources since that time including 136 homes for sale in Phase I of Salishan that it offered on the open market.  In general, THA had two goals:

  • To make homes available to low-income families;
  • To help protect families from irresponsible or unsustainable purchases.  (We note that this goal gained an additional pertinence as the nation’s mortgage market declined dramatically as an apparent result of overly aggressive marketing of unsustainable mortgages and unwise purchase decisions by home buyers.)   

This report will also help THA adjust its efforts in Phase II of Salishan, which will have another 183 homes for sale.  That effort, more than Phase I, will confront the full effect of the nation’s troubled mortgage market.

A Study of Salishan's Purchase Market 2004-2015 [PDF]

This report was commissioned by the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA), in an effort to better understand the real estate market dynamics and its effect upon a specific micro-market known as “Salishan”, which is located on the Eastside of Tacoma. THA’s request includes an analysis of this micro-market be completed and a detailed study of the sales data in this specific area over the period from January 2004 through August 2015. During this time period the Salishan neighborhood has undergone the most intense and dramatic market change in all of Pierce County. The data will show the rise of Salishan from a blighted urban neighborhood environment with little or no sales activity to a renewed and refreshed neighborhood of gentrified homes with the highest median sale price on the Eastside of Tacoma. The analysis will focus on:

  • The sales price overtime in Salishan from January 2004 – August 2015.
  • The rate of foreclosures during this same period in Salishan and the Eastside Tacoma Market.
  • A comparison of sales prices and dollar volume of total sales in Salishan to the overall Eastside Tacoma market
  • This report also addresses the current overall health of the real estate market in Salishan today and going forward.

Building a Culture of Education Success Through Housing [PDF]

In January 2014, NeighborWorks America (NeighborWorks) embarked on a partnership with the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) to conduct a national scan of strategies that utilize affordable housing as a platform for educational success. The scan focused on identifying promising programs that are (i) sponsored by a housing development, (ii) focused on educational outcomes and (iii) have demonstrated effectiveness. The project was guided by several principles about the potential for housing providers to make a contribution to educational outcomes, by offering:

  • Space that could be used to create safe, constructive out-of-school environments;
  • A target population of children who would benefit from additional academic supports; and
  • Access to families that could facilitate parent engagement and two-generation approaches.

How Housing Affects Education Outcomes for Low-Income Students [PDF]

Improving education outcomes for low-income children is a topic of pressing concerns for researchers, policymakers, and educators, especially in light that over time, the widening gap in test scores between rich and poor families and the growing divide between these groups in completed schooling hinder the socioeconomic mobility of low-income children.

Barriers to Success: Housing Insecurity for U.S. College Students [PDF]

Over the past decade and a half, surging college enrollment in the United States has opened opportunities for millions of Americans. Today, more than 70 percent of Americans enroll at a four-year college.1 Low-income students have accounted for much of this new enrollment, although college-going has dropped following the Great Recession. Test

Homelessness and Housing Instability: The Impact on Education Outcomes [PDF]

A growing body of empirical research links homelessness and housing instability to negative education outcomes.