Comparing Outcomes for Los Angeles County’s HUD-Assisted and Unassisted CalWORKs Leavers


Steep declines in welfare caseloads since 1996 have resulted in widespread concern about the circumstances of families going off the welfare rolls. Several studies have described who leaves welfare, why they leave, and how they and their families cope. This report is one of only a few to examine the relationship between the availability of federal housing assistance and post-exit well-being among welfare leavers. Focusing on a population of California CalWORKs recipients who left welfare in the autumn of 1998, this report tracks the post-welfare experiences of three groups - two that received federal housing assistance when they left and an unassisted group that did not. Using administrative records and survey data, the report compares the three groups demographically and examines their post-welfare experiences to see how they differ with respect to their labor market outcomes, material well-being, and propensity to return to the welfare rolls or rely on other forms of public assistance.