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Research Design, Data Collection, and Analysis Plan: The Family Options 12-Year Study


Authors: Brown, Scott R.     Dunton, Lauren     Gubits, Daniel     McInnis, Debra     Rodriguez, Brenda     Shinn, Marybeth     Wood, Michelle     Abt Associates    

Report Acceptance Date: May 2022 (77 pages)

Posted Date: October 06, 2022

HUD’s Evaluation Policy states, under the principle of transparency, that “If the findings of a HUD evaluation will have broad public interest and includes a counterfactual, PD&R will publish a synopsis of the research design, data collection and analysis plan soon after it is approved…” The enclosed RD/DCAP outlines the approach that the research team from Abt Associates will take in carrying out the Family Options 12 Year Study. This final RD/DCAP has been approved by the Contracting Officer’s Representative for this research effort after review and comment from multiple HUD program offices.

HUD launched the Family Options Study in 2010 as a multi-site experiment designed to develop evidence about which types of housing and services interventions work best for families who experience homelessness. Reports documenting the impact analyses in the short-term (2015) and the longer term (2016) found that priority access to a long-term rent subsidy such as a Housing Choice Voucher produced substantial benefits for families who had experienced homelessness . Based on these findings, HUD is attempting to administer a 12-year followup survey to the original sample of families that enrolled in the study over a decade ago. The RD/DCAP outlines the key research questions, the confirmatory and exploratory outcomes to be measured, the data sources to be collected or accessed, and the analytic approach to be undertaken.

HUD is publishing this date-stamped RD/DCAP on as a form of preregistration, which is a proactive step that can be taken for HUD’s experimental studies in response to concerns about the potential for researchers to manipulate data and analysis methods to support pre-determined or desired conclusions.

Click here for the Family Options Study


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