Assessment of Economic Opportunity Metrics for HUD-Assisted Renters
This study develops and explores four metrics that potentially could support the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s goal of increasing economic opportunity for renter households assisted by public housing, assisted multifamily housing, and Housing Choice Voucher programs. The proposed metrics apply to work-able individuals and households in each program and address aspects of economic opportunity, self-sufficiency, and financial stability. Two of the metrics use comparisons with local job markets to provide context for assessing work participation of assisted tenants. The study estimates metropolitan-level values for the three programs and analyzes the variations using quartile means. This preliminary analysis reveals substantial variation in tenant levels of work participation relative to their metropolitan areas or non-metropolitan portions of the state. The work suggests that HUD could use estimates from these or similar metrics to target interventions or technical assistance toward lagging metropolitan areas or housing providers, thereby reducing disparities in economic opportunity and improving average levels.