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Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP)

Overview

Congress authorized the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, under Section 501 and Section 504 of the Housing Act of 1970, to establish an experimental program to test the concept of providing housing allowances to eligible families. This was the first major test of what we know today to be the Housing Choice Voucher program, sometimes also called Section 8 or tenant based rental assistance.

The Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP) began immediately after passage of the 1970 legislation. After extensive design work, allowance payments to households began in the Spring of 1973. At the time, EHAP was considered one of the most extensive social program demonstrations conducted by the federal government. The demonstration was the earliest form of federal tenant-based subsidy, and over a nine-year period, nearly 50,000 households received cash assistance.

The Experimental Housing Allowance Program was split into three components:

  • The Housing Allowance Demand Experiment, conducted in the Metropolitan Areas of Phoenix, AZ and Pittsburgh, PA, randomly tested 19 different housing allowance models.
  • The Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, conducted in the Metropolitan Areas of Green Bay, WI and South Bend, IN, tested take-up and market effects of offering housing allowances to all income eligible homeowners and renters. That is, it was testing the impact of a universal housing assistance program.
  • The Housing Allowance Administrative Agency Experiment tested how the program would be administered if housing allowances were provided to local government entities to administer (the Demand and Supply experiments were administered by special agencies created by the contractors undertaking the research). The eight communities were Bismarck, ND; Durham, NC; Jacksonville, FL; Peoria, IL, Salem, OR; San Bernardin, CA; Springfield, MA; and Tulsa, OK.

EHAP looked at questions like:

  • Who participates in housing allowance programs?
  • How do participating households use their allowance payments?
  • Does the quality of housing improve for participating households?
  • Does a housing allowance program cause participants to change the location of their housing?
  • Are there significant market responses to a housing allowance program? For example, what happens to the price of housing?
  • What alternatives exist for administering the program?
  • What are the likely costs of a nationwide housing allowance program?

HUD produced numerous reports on the Experimental Housing Allowance Program. This landing page has tabs listing reports for each of the experiments. Program-wide reports included:

A Comparison of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program and Great Britain’s Rent Allowance Program
This historic report compares HUD’s Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP) to Great Britain’s Rent Allowance Program (RAP).

First Annual Report of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (1973)
Section 501 generally and Section 504 specifically of the Housing Act of 1970 directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish an experiment to demonstrate the feasibility of a housing allowance program.

Housing Allowances: the 1976 Report to Congress (1976)
This historic report, prepared by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research for use by members of Congress, describes the outcomes of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP).

Supply Experiment

The Housing Assistance Supply Experiment was undertaken primarily to evaluate the effects of a full-scale housing allowance program on its participants and their local housing markets. If program-induced price increases were large, they would disrupt the housing market and divert program subsidies from their intended recipients. In actuality, however, price effects caused by the experimental program were so small as to be negligible.

HUD produced numerous reports on the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment:

Inflation in the Standard Cost of Adequate Housing: Site I, 1973 – 1976
This historic working note analyses the inflation in housing costs in Brown County, Wisconsin from September 1973 to January 1976, and makes recommendations regarding benefits schedule of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Market Intermediaries and Indirect Suppliers: Reconnaissance and Research Design for Site II
This historic working note describes preliminary research about housing-related industries in St. Joseph County, Indiana, and future plans for gathering additional data.

Housing Choices and Residential Mobility in Site I at Baseline
This historic working note reports the findings of a survey of Brown County, Wisconsin households conducted during the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

How Housing Allowances Affect Housing Prices
This historic report analyses the impact that the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) housing allowance program had upon the local housing markets of Brown County, Wisconsin and St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Landlord Knowledge and Evaluation of Housing Allowances: St. Joseph County, Indiana, 1975
Using the results of 1,915 interviews, this historic report examines the initial and later attitudes of landlords in St. Joseph County, Indiana toward HUD’s Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Market Intermediaries and Indirect Suppliers: First Year Report for Site II
This historic working note describes the activities and attitudes of three types of market intermediaries — mortgage lenders, real estate brokers, and home repair contractors — in St. Joseph County, Indiana during the first year of HUD’s Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Price Elasticities of Housing Supply
This historic report discusses price elasticity of supply as this pertains to housing, applying an economic analysis to HUD’s Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Income Elasticity of Housing Demand
In this historic report, author John E. Mulford uses data collected during the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) to produce estimates of the long-term income elasticity of housing expenditures for housing allowance recipients in both Green Bay and South Bend, Sites I and II of the experiment.

Preliminary Description of Survey Instruments (1972)
This working note was prepared for HUD’s Office of Research and Technology as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

First Annual Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1974)
This historical document, prepared for the Office of Policy Development and Research, is the first annual report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Operations Review Of The South Bend Housing Allowance Office (1976)
This report contains the findings and recommendations resulting from our operations review of the South Bend Housing Allowance Office (HAO).

Indexing the Cost of Producing Housing Services: Site I, 1973 - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1977)
This historic note, part of the Rand Corporation’s body of publications on the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, reports on the researchers' efforts to produce indexes documenting the cost of producing housing services in Brown County, Wisconsin, and St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Fourth Annual Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1978)
This historical document, prepared for the Office of Policy Development and Research, is the fourth annual report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, covering the period of October 1976 to September 1977.

Indexing the Cost of Producing Housing Services in Site II, 1974-75 - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1978)
This historic note, part of the Rand Corporation’s body of publications on the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, reports on the researchers' efforts to produce indexes documenting the cost of producing housing services in Brown County, Wisconsin, and St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Monitoring The Housing Allowance Program In St. Joseph County, Indiana - September 1974- March 1975, Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1977)
This report describes community events, activities, and attitudes that may affect the experimental housing allowance program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or bear on research issues addressed by the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Monitoring The Housing Allowance Program In St. Joseph County, Indiana - July-September, 1974. Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1977)
This report describes community events. activities. and attitudes that may affect the experimental housing allowance program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. or bear on research issues addressed by the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Third Annual Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1977)
This historical document, prepared for the Office of Policy Development and Research, is the third annual report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, covering the period of October 1975 to September 1976.

How Low-Income Renters Buy Homes. Housing Assistance Supply (1979)
Although most low-income households seem incapable of meeting conventional mortgage lender requirements, some do succeed in purchasing homes.

Fifth Annual Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1979)
This historical document, prepared for the Office of Policy Development and Research, is the fifth annual report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, covering the period of October 1977 to September 1978.

A Topical Guide to HASE Research (1979)
This historical document is a topically organized guide to the research methods and findings of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), a component of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP).

Estimated Effects of Increased Income on Homeowner Repair Expenditures – Housing Assistance Supply Experiment
This historic note describes the development of a model of homeowner repair expenditures, based on data for Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) participants in Brown County, Wisconsin, and St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Using Hedonic Indexes to Measure Housing Quantity - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1979)
This historic report, prepared by the Rand Corporation for a HUD conference on the housing choices of low-income families and based on research conducted during the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), discusses the use of hedonic indexing to calculate housing quantity.

Using Hedonic Indexes to Measure Housing Quantity - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1979)
This historic research report presents a hedonic index of the rental housing stock available in Brown County, Wisconsin, in 1974, as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Housing Allowances and Housing Improvement: Early Findings (1979)
This historic note is a preliminary analysis of the extent and type of dwelling repairs made by homeowners, tenants, and landlords participating in HUD's Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), a 10-year research demonstration conducted in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Housing Search and Mobility (1979)
This historic report examines how households in various income brackets search for housing, how discrimination impacts housing search, and how differing search procedures impact ability to find affordable housing.

Shortrun Response of Housing Markets to Demand Shifts - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1979)
This historic research report presents a theory of shortrun market adjustments to exogenous demand shifts, using evidence from the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Allowance Program Administration: Interim Findings – Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1979)
This historic document is an interim on the administration of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), a long-running research experiment conducted by the Rand Corporation on behalf of HUD in the housing markets of Green Bay, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana, during which low-income households were provided with monthly cash payments in order to offset their housing costs.

Analyzing Allowance Program Administrative Costs: Account Structures and Methodology – Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1979)
This historic note describes the data base and methodology used to analyze housing allowance program administrative costs for the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Sixth Annual Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historical document, prepared for the Office of Policy Development and Research, is the sixth annual report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, covering the period of October 1978 to September 1979.

Assessing Hedonic Indexes for Housing – Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic report evaluates the use of hedonic indexing for housing services by comparing two indexes, one fit to the rental housing market of St. Joseph County, Indiana and the other fit to the market of Brown County, Wisconsin.

The Housing Allowance Office Handbook - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic note, produced by the Rand Corporation under contract with HUD, contains the full text of a handbook used by a housing allowance office serving Brown County, Wisconsin during the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Effects of the HAO Lead-Based Paint Hazard Standard – Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic analyzes the extent to which Housing Allowance Office standards regarding the removal of lead paint impacted the extent, cost, type, and validity of repairs undertaken during the Housing Allowance Supply Experiment (HASE).

Subjective Assessment Of Neighborhoods In The Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report examines the relationship between participation in allowance programs and participants' subjective perceptions of the quality of their neighborhoods.

How Housing Allowance Recipients Adjust Housing Consumption - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic note, originally prepared for the November 1979 meeting of the Regional Science Association, discusses the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) and observations of changes in housing consumption by its participants.

How Housing Allowances Affect Housing Markets - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic note, prepared by the Rand Corporation on behalf of HUD, relays the interim findings of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) in regards to the programs impact on housing markets.

Families, Houses, and the Demand for Energy - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1981)
This historic note, originally prepared for the November 1979 meeting of the Regional Science Association, discusses the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) and the savings induced by modifying existing dwellings to increase energy efficiency.

Rent Inflation in St. Joseph County, Indiana, 1974-78 - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic note consists of an analysis of rent changes in St. Joseph County, Indiana, during the first three years of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, a demonstration during which low-income households were provided with monthly cash payments via housing assistance offices in order to offset their housing costs.

Supply Response to the Housing Allowance Program - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic note, prepared for the November 1979 North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association's session on Housing Market Behavior, addresses the supply response of the housing market to the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Price Increases Caused by Housing Assistance Programs - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1980)
This historic report, based on a briefing presented to HUD's Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Donna E. Shalala in October 1979, addresses the impact of housing assistance programs on the market cost of rent.

The Demand for Housing Space and Quality - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1981)
This historic research report presents estimated demand functions for housing space and quality, based on results taken from the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Measuring Eligibility and Participation in the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1981)
This historic report estimates the population eligible to participate in the first three years of the Housing Assistance Program in Brown County, Wisconsin and St. Joseph County, Indiana, compared to the population that ultimately enrolled for assistance.

User's Guide to HASE Data, Vol. 3: The Program Files - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic document, part of the Rand Corporation's body of publications related to the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), is a user guide describing 40 data files gathered from 1974 - 1979.

User's Guide to HASE Data, Vol. 2: the Survey Files - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic report describes the research files compiled from field surveys conducted as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

User's Guide to HASE Data, Vol. 1: Overview - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic report is a guide to research files compiled from field surveys conducted as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, a 10-year research experiment conducted by the Rand Corporation on behalf of HUD in the housing markets of Green Bay, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana.

How Housing Evaluations Affect Participation in a Housing Allowance Program - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic report discusses the impact of housing evaluations on prospective participants in the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Experimenting with Housing Allowances - Executive Summary: The Final Comprehensive Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic report provides a condensed account of the findings of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, a 10-year research experiment conducted by the Rand Corporation on behalf of HUD in the housing markets of Green Bay, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana.

Revenue and Expense Accounts for Rental Properties - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic note presents financial data collected from rental property owners and occupants participating in the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment in Brown County, Wisconsin from 1973 - 1976 and St. Joseph County, Indiana from 1974 - 1977.

Indexing the Cost of Producing Housing Services in Site II, 1974-77 - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic note, part of the Rand Corporation’s body of publications on the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, reports on the researchers' efforts to produce indexes documenting the cost of producing housing services in Brown County, Wisconsin, and St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Housing Consumption in a Housing Allowance Program (1982)
This report analyzes how the housing allowance program, conducted as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), affected the housing consumption and budgetary allocation of allowance recipients.

Housing Allowance Program Administration: Findings from the Supply Experiment - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic document is the final report on the administration of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), a long-running research experiment conducted by the Rand Corporation on behalf of HUD in the housing markets of Green Bay, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana, during which low-income households were provided with monthly cash payments in order to offset their housing costs.

Measuring Neighborhood Change Due to Housing Allowances - a Final Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic document is a final report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment.

Specification Bias in Housing Production Functions - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic note, prepared for the November 1980 North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association, addresses the impact of aggregating housing production functions during supply modeling.

Price Effects of a Housing Allowance Program - a Final Report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic document is a final report of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment, a demonstration during which low-income households were provided with monthly cash payments via housing assistance offices in order to offset their housing costs.

Housing Allowances and Administrative Efficiency – Housing Assistance Supply Experiment
This historic examines administrative costs in the housing allowance programs operated as part of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE) from 1974 to 1980 in Brown County, Wisconsin and St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Housing Assistance Supply Experiment: Are Further Survey Cycles Needed in Site I?
This historic working note addresses the question of whether additional survey cycles should be conducted in Brown County, Wisconsin, Site I of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE). HASE was the second component of the three-part Experimental Housing Allowance Program, which tested the feasibility and desirability of a national program of direct housing assistance to low-income households.

Eligibility and Participation Plan for the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment
This historic working note presents a plan for analyzing eligibility and participation data from the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), in order to help researchers determine who the program helps, who it misses, and why.

Demand Experiment

The Housing Allowance Demand Experiment was designed to test the concept of direct cash assistance to low-income households, enabling them to rent suitable housing. The experiment focused on the ways low-income renter households use housing allowances. It tested a variety of allowance plans involving approximately 1,200 low-income Experimental households and 500 Control low-income households at two sites: Pittsburgh, PA, and Phoenix, AZ, during 1973-1977. Each household enrolled in the experiment was offered monthly allowance payments for three years.

HUD produced numerous reports on the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment:

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment Income Reporting and Verification in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report analyzes the extent to which participants in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment accurately reported their income.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Minimum Standard Requirements in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report describes the minimum housing standard used in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Housing Improvements and Upgrading in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report analyzes the housing improvements of households enrolled in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Final Report of the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report summarizes the results of the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment-- one of three Experiments conducted by HUD to test the idea of housing allowances.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Economic and Racial/Ethnic Concentration in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report examines the effect of experimental housing allowance programs on the residential location of households enrolled in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment - Participation Under Alternative Housing Allowance Programs: Evidence From the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report analyzes program participation in the various forms of housing allowance programs tested In the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Hedonic Indices as a Measure of Housing Quality (1980)
The major purpose of this paper is to develop an important summary measure of housing based on hedonic indices.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: The Search Behavior of Black Households in Pittsburgh in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report analyzes the experience of black households that searched for housing during the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh).

The Demand for Rental Housing: Evidence from a Percent of Rent Housing Allowance (1980)
This report analyzes the housing consumption of households participating in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment that received Percent of Rent housing allowances.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment - Housing Consumption Under A Constrained Income Transfer: Evidence From A Housing Gap Housing Allowance (1980)
This report analyzes the effect of the experimental Housing Gap housing allowances on the housing consumption of recipients.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Subjective Assessment of Neighborhoods in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (1980)
This report examines the relationship between participation 20 allowance programs and participants' subjective perceptions of the quality of their neighborhoods.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Fourth Annual Report
This historic publication is the fourth annual report of the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (HADE), a HUD-contracted test of direct tenant housing allowance models in the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Locational Choice, Part 1 — Search and Mobility
This historic report examines the home search and moving behaviors of first-year participants in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (HADE), a HUD-contracted test of direct tenant housing subsidy models in the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Locational Choice, Part 2 — Neighborhood Change
This historic report about the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (HADE) examines the locational choices of participants who chose to move during their first year in the experiment.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Mobility in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment
This historic technical report examines the mobility of households enrolled in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment (HADE), a HUD-contracted test of direct tenant housing subsidy models in the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Housing Demand Experiment: Preliminary Findings
This historic report relays the preliminary findings of researchers engaged in the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment, a HUD-contracted test of housing allowance models in the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Housing Allowance Demand Experiment: Working Paper on Early Findings
This historic working paper details the early findings of the Housing Allowance Demand Experiment, a HUD-contracted test of housing allowance models in metro Phoenix, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Administrative Agency Experiment

The Housing Allowance Administrative Agency Experiment was designed to provide information on different administrative methods for conducting a housing allowance program. It was a naturalistic experiment in the sense that eight public agencies were given broad latitude in designing and carrying out methods to accomplish the administrative tasks required in a housing allowance program.

Elderly Participants in the Administrative Agency Experiment
This historic report examines the experiences of the elderly households that participated in the Housing Allowance Administrative Agency Experiment (HAAAE) as recipients of a monthly housing allowance.

First Annual Report of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (1973)
Section 501 generally and Section 504 specifically of the Housing Act of 1970 directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish an experiment to demonstrate the feasibility of a housing allowance program.

Housing Allowances: the 1976 Report to Congress
This historic report, prepared by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research for use by members of Congress, describes the outcomes of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP).

Housing Allowance Program Administration: Findings from the Supply Experiment - Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (1982)
This historic document is the final report on the administration of the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment (HASE), a long-running research experiment conducted by the Rand Corporation on behalf of HUD in the housing markets of Green Bay, Wisconsin and South Bend, Indiana, during which low-income households were provided with monthly cash payments in order to offset their housing costs.

Housing Allowance Administrative Agency Experiment – Summer Policy Studies Report: Specification of a General Rent Survey Procedure for Estimating the Cost of Minimum Standard Housing
This historic report, published as part of the third and final component of HUD’s Experimental Housing Allowance Program, presents a means of applying a questionnaire with certain screening questions to a representative sample of renter households in a given housing market, in order to generate an estimate of the cost of minimum standard housing.