Training the leaders... of tomorrow.


Sandra J. Newman, Ph.D.
Professor of Policy Studies
Policy analysis
Housing policy for vulnerable populations
Long-term care policy

"The problem is not so much what we don't know; it's what we think we know that just ain't so." This paraphrase of a quote by Mark Twain captures as well as anything why I am a social scientist, policy analyst, and teacher. For more than 20 years, I’ve focused on housing policy for vulnerable populations, including welfare families, the homeless, persons with severe mental illness, and the frail elderly. Americans agree that decent, affordable housing is a basic necessity of life and, since 1949, have accepted this as a policy goal. But in more than five decades of trying, we still haven't found a way to deliver on this promise. What's more, many of the programs now operating are studies in laudable objectives but unanticipated consequences. If we are ever to be effective, we need to get back to the basics: What are we trying to achieve with housing assistance? What is government's proper role? These are the kinds of questions I am addressing in my current work. In the same vein, my core course in policy analysis teaches our students to address such fundamental policy questions across a broad range of domestic policy.

Dr. Newman holds an M.U.P. and Ph.D. in urban planning from New York University. She was a Fulbright Senior Fellow at the Australian National University and a Visiting Scholar in the research office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Newman's research is interdisciplinary, and focuses on the intersection of housing, employment, welfare and health. Her recent projects have been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Fannie Mae Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Rockefeller Foundation.


Click here for Dr. Newman's full C.V.

Current Research/Projects

  • The Abell Award in Urban Policy
  • Assets, Neighborhoods, and Children's Outcomes
  • The Effects of Affordable Housing on Children's Well-Being
  • The Effects of Affordable Housing on Children's Well-Being: Phase Two
  • The Effects of Assisted Housing on Residents' Life Chances
  • Housing Landscape for America’s Working Families: A National and Metropolitan Perspective
  • How Housing Matters for the Well-Being of Poor Children and Their Families
  • Newman, S. (2007). “Housing Allowances in Britain: A Troubled History and Uncertain Future,” in P.A. Kemp (ed.), Housing Allowances in Comparative Perspective. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press.

Course Offerings

195.477 Introduction to Urban Policy

195.478 Urban Policy Internship

195.609 Policy Analysis for the Real World