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Examining the Housing and Neighborhood Trajectories for Former HUD-Assisted Households with Children


Authors: UC Berkeley     Reid, Carolina     Ramiller, Alex    

Report Acceptance Date: March 2023 (71 pages)

Posted Date: February 22, 2024

To date, there has been little systematic research on the long-term outcomes of households and/or individuals who leave HUD-assisted housing, nor are there unambiguous measures of positive and negative exit for most HUD programs. To address this knowledge gap, HUD’s Office of Policy Development & Research (PD&R) released the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), “Examining Long-Term Outcomes Following Exit from HUD-Assisted Housing,” in July 2020. The solicitation asked applicants to leverage HUD administrative data or tenant data linked with other secondary longitudinal data sources to achieve their project objectives.

This study seeks to address strategic goals from HUD’s FY 2018-2022 and FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plans. In its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, HUD adopted a strategic goal to increase the rate of positive exits from all HUD-assisted housing programs. To achieve this strategic objective, PD&R sought to first better understand how households that exit HUD-assisted housing, or “leavers,” fare after exit. This study also ties into HUD’s FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, specifically Strategic Objective 2B which seeks to improve HUD’s rental assistance to address the need for affordable housing. This study’s goal of understanding whether exiting housing assistance leads to changes in neighborhood poverty exposures and housing stability for families with children has important implications for the administration of HUD programs and housing policy.

This study (one of two studies funded under the same NOFO) was conducted by University of California, Berkeley (PI: Dr. Carolina Reid) for their proposal titled, “Examining the Housing and Neighborhood Trajectories for Former HUD-Assisted Households With Children.” The study examined housing trajectories of family households with children who leave HUD’s public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs, specifically focusing on housing tenure, housing stability, and neighborhood attainment. The study was restricted to exited HUD-assisted households with children in 14 U.S. counties. Using HUD administrative data linked with annual residential address and tenure data from Infogroup, the researcher aimed to answer the following three research questions:

  1. What factors influence whether a family exiting HUD-assisted housing transitions into sustainable homeownership?
  2. Does an exit from HUD-subsidized housing lead to subsequent housing instability, and which types of households experience higher rates of residential moves?
  3. Do families who leave HUD-assisted housing move to neighborhoods with higher or lower poverty rates?

The findings from this study indicate that households with children that left public housing assistance saw a significant decline in their neighborhood poverty rate. In contrast, although households that exited the HCV program also experienced decreases in their neighborhood poverty, those decreases were not statistically significant and were smaller in magnitude than the decline in neighborhood poverty that households remaining in HCV housing experienced.

The results relating to homeownership were particularly notable for HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Study findings suggest that, for both public housing and the Housing Choice Voucher program, enrollment and participation in the FSS program boosted the likelihood of homeownership by approximately 25 percent. Overall, this research provides valuable insight into how households fare after exiting HUD-assisted housing.


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