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U-M researchers to use MacArthur grant to study recession’s effect on Southeast Michigan

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

University of Michigan researchers will study the effects of various housing problems—including foreclosures and evictions—and the economic crisis on vulnerable workers and families living in hard-hit southeast Michigan.

A new $750,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to the National Poverty Center, located in the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, was one of 13 grants distributed to researchers to explore how housing matters to children, families and communities. The research grants were selected from 217 applicants.

U-M researchers designed a longitudinal 3-year survey that will help policymakers and researchers better understand the effects of the severe recession, the housing crisis, and the federal stimulus funding on families living in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties

Sheldon Danziger and Kristin Seefeldt lead the research team, which includes U-M sociologist Sarah Burgard, Ford School research professor Robert Schoeni, School of Social Work professor Sandra Danziger, and Institute for Social Research health economist Helen Levy.

The study will explore the influence of the recession and the collapse of stock and housing prices on the well-being of workers and families. It will assess the extent to which social welfare programs and federal stimulus spending offset some of the negative effects of the economic crisis.

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