America has long prided itself on being the Land of Opportunity where upward mobility is the national ideal. However, research increasingly shows that opportunity varies deeply with geography. Millions of low income families in the United States live in communities that are disconnected from opportunity.
Neighborhoods that engender opportunity are safe from physical and social threats, including violence or trauma of any kind. They should be free of toxic compounds in the water, land, and air. They have excellent schools, affordable transit options, and ample access to nature. Their residents have access to affordable health care, and to social and mental health services. They have stores selling healthy and affordable food, include diverse peoples, housing types, and opportunities, with a prevalence of working families. Their governance is reliable, trusted, transparent and free from corruption, and their citizens are able to play a significant role in both its long-range planning and its short-term decision making.
But many Americans don’t live in such neighborhoods. Our mission is to support the theory, practice and data related to the efficacy of making affordable housing mini zipcodes of opportunity.