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About PD&R: Background


About PD&R: Background
PD&R Background

PD&R was established in 1973 as an office headed by an Assistant Secretary. The statutory authority for PD&R's research activities is found in Title V of the 1970 Housing Act, which authorizes programs of "research, studies, testing, and demonstrations relating to the missions and programs of the Department." Research priorities have differed from administration to administration, with varying mixes of housing studies, housing technology research, demonstrations, HUD program evaluations, and policy reports. PD&R's research activities are designed to have immediate relevance to the policy issues facing the Secretary and the Secretary's principal staff.

In 1978, PD&R established HUD User as an information source for housing and community development researchers, academics, policymakers, and the American public. HUD User is the primary source for federal government reports and information on housing policy and programs, building technology, economic development, urban planning, and other housing-related topics. HUD User also creates and distributes a wide variety of useful information products and services. The Clearinghouse Help Desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 Eastern time; the toll-free number is 1-800-245-2691. Publication requests and general inquiries can also be made by sending an email to

Solomon Greene - Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary

Todd M. Richardson - General Deputy Assistant Secretary



Using in-house staff and contractors, PD&R undertakes studies and issues reports on HUD programs to determine how well they are achieving their objectives and how they can be improved. PD&R also conducts studies and issues reports on housing and community development matters not tied directly to HUD programs.

PD&R conducts a limited number of demonstration projects based on new program concepts. The purpose of the demonstrations is to test new programs systematically to determine if they have measurable impacts that can inform public policy. Current example is the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) addressing ways to bring families receiving HUD housing assistance to greater self-sufficiency.

PD&R makes a major contribution to the body of housing research by analyzing, distributing, and maintaining nationwide databases on housing market and local economic conditions. In cooperation with the Census Bureau, PD&R produces the American Housing Survey, a biannual survey of the nation's housing market, as well as other surveys of housing markets. PD&R has created and maintains several important housing and urban databases, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit database and the State of the Cities Data Systems, which are available on our website, (part of a research information service and clearinghouse known as HUD USER that also offers Help Desk assistance at 1-800-245-2691).

As part of its in-house research efforts, PD&R maintains numerous other databases on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the mortgage market. PD&R also maintains extensive data on the characteristics of assisted housing tenants and voucher recipients. In-house analysis of these data has resulted in important policy recommendations by PD&R staff.

Periodically, PD&R convenes conferences and seminars on housing and community development issues, often in conjunction with other HUD offices or outside organizations. PD&R brings scholars, decisionmakers, and advocates together in a variety of settings ranging from brown-bag seminars to major policy conferences. Examples include quarterly briefings and other events that can be found here.

All research reports and studies that PD&R funds or prepares are available to the public in hard copy and electronic formats. Both versions can be obtained on PD&R also publishes a number of periodicals, including Cityscape, Evidence Matters and an online magazine PD&R Edge which is updated bi-weekly.

An Information Quality Bulletin of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), dated December 16, 2004, and published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2005 (pages 2664-2677), required federal agencies to conduct a "peer review" of "Influential and Highly Influential Scientific Information," as those terms are defined in the Bulletin, prior to dissemination to the public.

At this time, HUD is not aware of any ongoing study that may constitute influential scientific information, as defined in the OMB Bulletin, that is subject to the Bulletin's peer review reporting requirements.

For questions regarding the peer review requirement of the Bulletin, please contact Peter Kahn, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development, at (202) 402-2409. For legal questions, please contact Aaron Santa Anna, Associate General Counsel for Regulations, at (202) 708-3055.

Click here for more information about HUD's Peer Review Agenda.

The field economists within the Economic Market Analysis Division (EMAD) provide local and regional market intelligence, and conduct market analysis reviews of FHA multifamily housing applications.  Customers include Regional Administrators, Field Office Directors and Program Managers along with their clients, including other Government agencies especially interested in housing demand forecasts generated by the field economist team. Headquarters staff within the division produces Fair Market Rents, income limits, annual inflation adjustment factors, and Fair Share funds allocation factors used in HUD's assisted housing programs. The division also oversees and edits the regional summaries and local housing market profiles prepared by the field economists for HUD's quarterly publication, U.S. Housing Market Conditions.


Policy Development and Support

Drawing on its research and extensive program knowledge, PD&R advises the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and principal staff on program policy issues arising from the formulation of legislative and budget proposals, from regulatory responsibilities, and from other proposed major actions of the department. Recent examples of PD&R's policy advisory role include providing data, analysis, and other input on issues such as regulatory and policy changes, as well as preparation of the Administration's annual budget and legislative proposals.

PD&R Offices and Initiatives

PD&R regularly interacts with the four primary HUD program offices and employs staff who are familiar with all of their programs. PD&R staff provides these offices with technical support, data, maps, and other materials relevant to their programs. Additionally, PD&R serves as a resource of information and institutional knowledge for divisions within the Secretary's Office, providing briefing materials and rapid responses for the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.