About Us Authors and Staff


Robin Smith is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she specializes in federal housing programs and community development.  Much of her work focuses on vulnerable populations and how where people live influences their lives.  Currently, she is helping to develop a new program of research on how neighborhoods influence youth transitions to adulthood, which seeks to untangle how living in low-income communities contributes to decisions made by young people.

Smith is a seasoned evaluator of federal housing programs having investigated long-standing federal interventions such as the Community Development Block Grant program, and public and assisted housing as well as the latest generation of comprehensive community development initiatives like Choice and Promise Neighborhoods.

Smith recently published the article: Coercive Sexual Environments: What MTO Tells Us About Neighborhoods and Sexual Safety in Cityscape as well as the Urban Perspectives Brief: How to Evaluate Choice and Promise Neighborhoods.  She is also coauthor of the book: Why Not in My Backyard?