ISSUE 133 | November 17, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
PA supports affordable housing to the tune of $10 million 
During summer 2021, the state legislature allocated $10 million in Housing Tax Credit to incentivize developers to build affordable housing.

Despite demand, there has been virtually no new development of single or multi-family housing has been minimal in areas like NEPA.

The few developments that do take place occur primarily in urban centers, at or above market housing rates. 

Commonwealth workers join the great resignation 
In August, 120,000 workers quit their jobs.

Many moved to new and better opportunities, but a record number of job openings remains – even despite increasing wages.

Data suggests that the pandemic allowed people to determine which employment features they value most, such as:

  • flexible scheduling
  • remote options
  • type of work 

COVID acts as catalyst for public transit redesign 
Many cities are recognizing how COVID has changed public transit ridership and destination needs, while acknowledging major inequities in their systems.

These networks are undergoing major redesigns as a result.

Philadelphia began an analysis of bus services in April, for instance, as part of a broader plan that also involves reevaluation of the rail system. 

In the Spotlight: The Institute's Housing Task Force as explored an array of issues that influence living dynamics in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Use the link below, and then click the red box labeled 'Housing.' Scroll down to find studies of the region's housing divide, its aging housing stock, inequities surrounding access to safe and affordable housing, and more!

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Nevada school district offers free lunches to all students through 2025
The federal government continues to support free school lunches in connection with pandemic aid, and many states and districts are expanding their programs in order to improve learning and equity.

Nevada’s Clark County School District will do so through 2025.

Like most districts around the country, the administration has noted increases in numbers of qualifying students. 

California implements country’s largest prison-based drug treatment program 
In response to increasing overdoses within its prisons, California has launched a large-scale treatment effort.

Services include:

  • medical care
  • counseling
  • peer support
  • meditation
  • an educational curriculum

Program outcomes are being thoroughly documented and evaluated to measure success and potential for replicability. 

Medical devices using biased algorithms compromise equitable health care
Artificial intelligence offers great opportunities – along with substantial risks.

For example, software-based medical devices sometimes use algorithms derived from secondary data that may contain hidden biases pertaining to race, income, and gender.

Routine data review, clear labeling, and improved regulatory policy can reduce misinformation and inequities in patient care. 

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