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奥利弗说，“我不希望他和这一带的孩子交朋友。你会因此失去你的孩子，他们的命运不是坐牢就是死。”'I didn't want him to become friends with the neighborhood kids,' Ms. Oliver said. 'You lose your kids that way, either to death or prison.'|
三年前，奥利弗和她的家人通过巴尔的摩流动住房计划（Baltimore Housing Mobility Program）搬到了郊区。这个项目已实施了近十年，旨在帮助贫困家庭搬入更好的社区居住。现在，奥利弗的儿子能够跟上学校的学习了，女儿的严重哮喘几乎痊愈了，而奥利弗自己也半工半读，一边兼职工作，一边上大学，目标是成为一名药物滥用顾问。奥利弗说，良好的居住环境、优质的空气和学校，这些都让我们的生活有了翻天覆地的变化。但搬家的影响远不止于此。
Then three years ago, Ms. Oliver and her family were able to move to the suburbs through the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, a nearly decade-old effort to help poor families move to better neighborhoods. Now, her son is passing his classes, her daughter's asthma has all but disappeared, and Ms. Oliver herself is working part-time and going to college to become a substance-abuse counselor. The improved housing, air and schools all have made a big difference, Ms. Oliver said, but the impact of the move goes beyond that.
'You see families function in a normal way, where the parents go off to work, the kids go off to school,' she said. 'I don't think that my children will be a recipient of social services because my life has changed drastically and they see the change in me.'
美国公民自由联盟（American Civil Liberties Union）马里兰州分会的房地产律师芭芭拉•塞缪尔斯（Barbara Samuels）参与监管了巴尔的摩流动住房计划的实施，她认为奥利弗的经历并不为奇。她说，“周围的环境会让你产生一种无望无助、身体受压的感觉。”
Barbara Samuels, a housing attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, which helps oversee the Baltimore program, said Ms. Oliver's story isn't unusual. 'There's kind of a sense of hopelessness, of being literally almost physically oppressed by your surroundings,' she said.
塞缪尔斯和其他的专家都认为，“搬家寻找新机会”只能在某种程度上让参与者在经济上获益。因为对于那些想搬进真正的中产阶级社区、享受优质教育服务的家庭而言，住房补贴券只是杯水车薪。举例来说，正是有了巴尔的摩流动住房计划，奥利弗全家才得以从巴尔的摩市搬到安娜•阿伦德郡（Anne Arundel County），而“搬家寻找新机会”项目在这一点上根本帮不了她。
Ms. Samuels -- and other experts -- say Moving to Opportunity notched limited economic benefits in part because the housing vouchers were too small for families to move to truly middle-class communities with better schools. For example, under the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, Ms. Oliver was able to leave Baltimore altogether and move to Anne Arundel County, something she couldn't have done under the Moving to Opportunity initiative.
Harvard economist Lawrence Katz, one of the study's authors, agreed that most families in the study hadn't been able to move to better school districts, as initially hoped. And he said that other programs, such as ones that offer job training, have been able to boost people's earnings.
'Success at getting a better job really isn't about exactly where you live,' Mr. Katz said.
In recent years, some economists have focused on happiness and other measures of subjective well-being that aren't fully captured by traditional gauges of wealth and income. For the Science study, participants were asked to rate their happiness on a commonly used three-point scale.
Comparing those findings with past studies, the researchers found that in terms of happiness, a 13-percentage-point drop in neighborhood poverty was the equivalent of a $13,000 increase in annual income -- a dramatic increase for a population with average household income of just $20,000.