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Expanding Housing Affordability Forum

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Expanding Housing Affordability Forum (Archived)

Proposed projects and ideas in this category will most closely align to goal 1 in HUD's strategic plan: Strengthen the Nation's Housing Market To Bolster the Economy and Protect Consumers; and goal 2: Meet the Need for Quality, Affordable, Rental Homes. Despite the units of housing provided through HUD's programs, the supply of affordable and available rental housing in America is insufficient. HUD wants to ensure quality, attainable housing—for ownership and rent—are available to meet this challenge. The proposed projects and ideas in this category would explore housing finance and homeownership, subsidized and unsubsidized affordable housing production and preservation, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, etc.

Explore PD&R's current research and learn more about what we are already doing in this area:

What do you think are the most critical research questions that should be explored around expanding housing affordability?

Posted By: nel2019
Posted On: Wed, 02/20/2019 - 22:27

I'm a social work student and I intern at a local legislator's office. I am conducting a research on the effect that race has on housing affordability.

I am looking to see if anyone can guide me in the right direction to get data thats been collected in Rockland County, New York. It would be even better if it the data is specifically for spring Valley, NY.

People from minority groups such as black/African American and Hispanics/Latino Households are cost-burdened, live check by check and cannot afford their own homes because of systematic challenges and I would like to go over the data to give the legislator's office I intern at some recommendations.

To move forward I need data like household income, race, size of the household, and if they own or rent the home they are living in.

I would really appreciate your help!


Posted By: jrfishma
Posted On: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 17:59

Affordable housing providers and their advocates sometimes struggle with presenting the case for the construction or development of affordable housing in a given community. Perhaps researching effective strategies and compiling the research for presentation by advocates may enhance the success rate for entities developing affordable housing in communities of opportunity.

Posted By: EOOlsen3
Posted On: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 15:56

For decades, a widespread and influential belief in housing policy debates has been that subsidized construction programs are more cost-effective than tenant-based housing vouchers for providing housing to low-income households in housing markets with the lowest vacancy rates. No systematic evidence supports this belief. A careful empirical study of the relationship between cost-effectiveness and market conditions is long overdue. This could be based on data for a random sample of voucher recipients and occupants of tax credit projects in randomly selected locations with unusually high and low vacancy rates. A credible cost-effectiveness analysis requires detailed information about the characteristics of the dwelling units and their neighborhoods and a meticulous collection of data on all of the subsidies associated with subsidized housing projects. HUD’s Customer Satisfaction Survey indicates that information on the characteristics of the unit and its neighborhood can be obtained at low cost from recipients.

Posted By: JWeinstock
Posted On: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 15:30

Multifamily property owners contract with management agents, through a management agreement, to oversee the day-to-day operations of the property, and maintain the financial and accounting records. The owners and HUD must ensure that the projects will be managed in a prudent, efficient, and costs-effective manner, in accordance with applicable laws and HUD requirements.

The management agents that oversee the HUD-insured and HUD-assisted multifamily properties play a key role in helping HUD provide quality affordable housing. Management agents provide property owners with dedicated property management services focused on ensuring that all expenses of the project are reasonable and necessary, increasing property cash flow, improving resident satisfaction, and improving properties’ physical condition.

There are numerous HUD OIG reports finding that HUD did not adequately monitor its management agents. As a result, less funds are available to maintain property conditions, and tenant quality of life suffers.

But resource limitations make it difficult to properly monitor all agents. Research to determine methods for identifying high-risk management agents using available data sources would allow HUD to focus its oversight resources more effectively.

Posted By: danpetrie
Posted On: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 11:16

One response to recent constrained mortgage financing is to better prepare low-income people for homeownership. Evaluations of pre-purchase counseling programs that inform low-income households about the rights and responsibilities of homeownership and help them address credit and savings barriers show signs of success. The next generation of programs though will go beyond short-term and narrowly defined pre-purchase counseling and focus on more on more holistic, personalized financial coaching and post-purchase support to ensure loans do not become delinquent or foreclosed.

Questions to address in HUD’s research should center on what characteristics of this holistic approach, including post-purchase support, best deliver lasting results at a variety of income levels.

Dan Petrie
Habitat for Humanity International

Posted By: danpetrie
Posted On: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 11:10

In the wake of the Great Recession, mortgage denial rates for households earning less than 50 percent of AMI have increased, even as lending has slowly rebounded for other groups (The State of the Nation’s Housing 2014). Many attribute this to a tightening of credit standards and a lower tolerance for low credit scores. At the same time, the mortgage industry needs better ways to understand risk for low-income households. Besides the standard factors like credit scores and loan-to-value ratios, there may be other factors like level of education, connections to particular institutions, and collective efficacy that affect households’ propensities to pay their loans but are currently underexplored; these dynamics may work differently in diverse housing markets.

What the next generation of housing finance should look like for low-income families is still being defined. The key questions to address on this topic center around which entry point (FHA, VA, NGO etc.), which homeowner characteristics (credit score, residual income, etc.), and which terms (size of down payment, interest rate, principle, and term) in which combinations yield the best results for families at different income thresholds in different housing markets.

Dan Petrie
Habitat for Humanity International

Posted By: EOo
Posted On: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 15:08

Housing finance agencies that had or have goals to encourage scattered-site infill projects have found development of these projects challenging with the funding sources typically used in affordable housing deals, including low-income housing tax credits. Finding ways to successfully finance scattered site research is important to both reinvestment areas and opportunity areas. Much could be learned from best-practices nation-wide. How do housing finance agencies incentivize scattered-site projects? What are the neighborhood characteristics of completed projects? How are these development deals structured? What are the barriers to development of scattered-site projects with the funding sources typically used in affordable housing deals, including low-income housing tax credits, and how have these barriers been overcome?

Posted By: EOo
Posted On: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 15:07

Demographic trends have implications on housing demand and supply; recent research has shown that headship and tenure patterns across age cohorts may have several effects. First, demand for rental housing is expected to increase. At the same time, homeownership rates are anticipated to decline for every age group. What are the implications of declining homeownership rates? Specifically, what are the implications for the “hand-off” of homeowner housing units from baby boomers to subsequent generations? What are the implications for regions that must plan for the increased demand for rental housing, particularly with two large age cohorts – seniors and millennials - currently seeking rental housing? Are there best practices or lessons to increase the supply of rental and for-sale affordable housing in locations with access to services and amenities, such as strategies for the development and preservation of affordable housing on scattered sites or infill locations? How can these changes be leveraged to promote overall housing diversity, particularly in areas with transit, jobs, and other amenities?

Posted By: SonjaKT
Posted On: Fri, 10/09/2015 - 16:16

Can HUD study the effect of difficult entitlement processes and low density zoning on housing affordability?

I think there are cities (like San Francisco) that have driven up their own housing costs by throttling the creation of new units. HUD then has to spend more money than it would otherwise have to subsidizing housing for low income folks. Provided the reseach supported this policy change, HUD could withhold money from cities that don't have as-of-right zoning, for instance.

Also look into how particiaption in Section 8 can be expanded.


Posted By: blair.d.russell
Posted On: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 11:55

Thank you for contributing to this process. Your recommendation has been noted and will be added to the discussion of future research priorities for HUD.

Blair Russell, HUD PD&R

Posted By: DawnMarieCurrin
Posted On: Thu, 10/29/2015 - 15:38

A very good idea!

Posted By: AAurand
Posted On: Wed, 10/14/2015 - 11:32

Local and national databases, such as the National Housing Preservation Database, help housing professionals identify properties with expiring subsidies in the near future. Some of these properties will be lost from the affordable housing stock and others will not. Research to help us better identify which properties are more likely to be lost would inform housing professionals regarding where more focused effort on preservation is needed.

Posted By: blair.d.russell
Posted On: Mon, 10/29/2015 - 15:38

Thank you for contributing to this forum and adding your suggestion to the discussion around the Research Roadmap. We appreciate your interest in this topic area, and your recommendation regarding this research agenda will be included in the discussion about future HUD research priorities.
Blair Russell, HUD PD&R

Posted By: JGoering
Posted On: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 14:24

Congress appears intent upon expanding MTW and yet to date there has been no careful process and impact evaluation of the program. With its probable expansion, PD&R should plan for a multi-year study evaluating effects upon rents, payment standards, shifting of operating to capital expenses, limiting of portability, and the host of issues that have been raised by researchers and GAO. Do a baseline of the newest PHAs admitted into MTW.

Posted By: AAurand
Posted On: Wed, 10/14/2015 - 11:51

I agree with the statement above. We need a careful evaluation of MTW policies/procedures and resident outcomes. PHAs should adopt an evaluation plan prior to entering MTW if MTW expands.

Posted By: blair.d.russell
Posted On: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 11:20

Thank you for your suggestion regarding the evaluation of MTW. As you can see in the Research Roadmap (http://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdf/Research_Roadmap.pdf), this area of research has been listed as one of the Department's Priority Research Projects. We appreciate your input in this process.
Blair Russell, HUD PD&R

Posted By: AAurand
Posted On: Wed, 10/14/2015 - 12:08

With the NHTF distributing funds for the first time in 2016, we should think about how to best evaluate the use of those funds with regard to addressing the shortage of affordable housing for ELI households.

Posted By: blair.d.russell
Posted On: Mon, 10/26/2015 - 10:50

Thank you for sharing your suggestion for the Research Roadmap. Your recommendation to think carefully about how we evaluate NHTF will be added to the discussion as we move forward.
Blair Russell, HUD PD&R

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