HUD USER offers a selection of our most popular housing research in a variety of eBook-friendly formats. We invite you to browse our inventory and download titles of interest. New titles will be added on an ongoing basis, so be sure to check back often for new releases. For assistance, please see the Help section or email us at helpdesk@huduser.gov.


Recent Releases


Report to Congress: Photographic Review of HUD-Assisted PropertiesReport to Congress: Photographic Review of HUD-Assisted Properties

The Public Housing Capital Fund section of Title II of the Senate Report 115-138 (Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2018) expressly directs HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) to work with the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) “to identify and implement a statistically significant sample photographic review of HUD-assisted properties that received a passing inspection score during fiscal year 2018.” This report describes PD&R’s review of a sample of photos taken of HUD-assisted properties and specifies that the photos provide insufficient evidence to confirm or reject the scoring for any sampled property. Within the report, PD&R illustrates photos from two apartment complexes and describes that none of the Department’s most cited deficiencies can be observed by simply viewing the static images. The report further describes that a more productive approach to the problem would be for PD&R staff to go on-site to accompany REAC during a limited number of inspections.
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Evidence Matters: Spring/Summer 2019Evidence Matters: Spring/Summer 2019

Enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones represent a potentially transformative effort to incentivize investment in economically distressed areas. This issue of Evidence Matters places the new initiative into the context of other place-based tax incentives aimed at fostering community development and examines how state and local governments are positioning themselves to maximize benefits for their jurisdictions.

The lead article, "Place-Based Tax Incentives for Community Development," reviews past and current place-based tax incentives and the evidence of their effectiveness and concludes with an introduction to Opportunity Zones. The Research Spotlight, "Evaluating Place-Based Incentives" by Daniel Marcin, discusses the methodological challenges of evaluations of past place-based tax incentives and suggests methods for evaluating Opportunity Zones. Finally, the In Practice article, "Shaping Investment in Opportunity Zones," discusses how Maryland, Indiana, Michigan, Louisville, and Oklahoma City are attracting investment and spreading the word about Opportunity Zones through partnerships, online portals, and investment prospectuses.
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Report to Congress on the On-Site Completion of Construction for Manufactured HomesReport to Congress on the On-Site Completion of Construction for Manufactured Homes

As part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (PL 115-141), Congress directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to review the final rule, On-Site Completion of Construction of Manufactured Homes (FR-5295-F-02), published on March 7, 2016 (75 FR 35901).1 In addition to a review of the On-Site Completion of Construction Rule, Congress directed HUD to "develop a solution that ensures the safety of consumers and minimizes costs and burdensome requirements on manufacturers and consumers." One of the alternatives HUD was directed to consider is whether "state and local planning and permitting agencies should have jurisdiction over on-site completion."
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Assessment of Economic Opportunity Metrics for HUD-Assisted RentersAssessment 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.

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Market Predictors of Homelessness: How Housing and Community Factors Shape Homelessness Rates Within Continuums of CareMarket Predictors of Homelessness: How Housing and Community Factors Shape Homelessness Rates Within Continuums of Care

Homelessness is an acknowledged problem in many places, though its causes are myriad and may vary based on the characteristics of respective communities. This report investigates heterogeneity in community-level rates of sheltered and unsheltered homelessness, separately and combined, and provides insight into underlying community-level factors associated with homelessness across the United States. This study (1) identifies and describes market variables associated with sheltered and unsheltered homelessness, (2) constructs and evaluates empirical models of community-level homelessness, and (3) analyzes relationships within subgroup populations of local markets. Findings provide insights into predicting homelessness across different community types and market factors to consider as policy interventions are developed. The study finds that housing factors, such as rental costs, crowding, and evictions, are most consistently associated with higher rates of community-level homelessness. This demonstrates that housing market dynamics and the availability of affordable housing are closely tied to homelessness at the Continuum of Care (CoC) level even when controlling for a range of economic, demographic, safety net, and climate factors.

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Impediments to PHA Reimbursement for Surveys and Solutions to Address Delays in HUD’s Annual Calculation of Fair Market RentsImpediments to PHA Reimbursement for Surveys and Solutions to Address Delays in HUD’s Annual Calculation of Fair Market Rents

This report provides an overview of how HUD calculates FMRs, including significant recent changes, as well as possible options for further updates and improvements. The report also responds to the Senate Appropriations Committee direction for additional information on the FMR calculation process. Specifically, the Senate Committee Report accompanying the fiscal year FY 2019 Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill required HUD "to identify the statutory, regulatory and cost barriers PHAs face in conducting and receiving reimbursements" for local market rent surveys used to request adjustments to HUD's Fair Market Rents. The Committee Report further required HUD to address "solutions to address delays in HUD's annual calculation of FMRs for rental markets that are rapidly increasing in value." A number of options for improved local FMR calculations are discussed, including changes to the factors used for estimating rent inflation and local trends, along with potential limitations or drawbacks of such options. In terms of PHAs' use of local rent surveys, the report finds that while PHAs have legal authority to use their existing HUD funding for administrative expenses for such surveys, or to pursue outside funding and partnerships (e.g. with universities) to do so, funding limitations and practical considerations make this difficult in practice. Further, HUD itself does not have a separate, independent appropriations source to reimburse PHAs for local rent surveys and there would be significant difficulties and drawbacks to providing reimbursements out of existing appropriations for PHA administrative fees which are often pro-rated due to funding limitations.

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Cityscape: National Survey of Mortgage Originations Volume 21, Number 2Cityscape: National Survey of Mortgage Originations Volume 21, Number 2

The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies. Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Short-Term Impact Report: The HUD First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration, Preliminary FindingsShort-Term Impact Report: The HUD First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration, Preliminary Findings

Congress and many researchers and practitioners in the field of housing counseling have asked whether pre-purchase homeownership counseling for first-time borrowers leads to better borrower outcomes and reduced lender risk relative to no counseling. HUD designed The First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration as a large-scale randomized experiment to answer the question about the relative efficacy of homebuyer education and counseling on first-time borrowers. This report presents preliminary findings on the impact of homebuyer education and counseling for prospective first-time homebuyers. Preliminary findings indicate that the impacts are mixed, with some positive impacts including higher rates of home purchase for young adults (29 years and younger), and either negative or "no impact" findings for other measures - including no impact on loan performance measures (for the 12-18 months after home purchase period). All findings relate to short-term impacts only (given the length of the study) and are based on information drawn from extensive administrative data and a follow-up survey of study participants. This report provides data that will hopefully help contextualize and explain longer-term outcomes expected in the final report in 2021.

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HUD's Office of Policy Development & Research Biennial Report FY 2017-2018HUD's Office of Policy Development & Research Biennial Report FY 2017-2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), is pleased to present its fiscal years (FY) 2017 and 2018 Biennial Report. The goal of this report is to inform those who use the data and research PD&R produces about who PD&R is, what PD&R does, and some input about how PD&R functions. The report highlights some of PD&R’s most notable and transformative accomplishments over the past 2 years, from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2018. It focuses on everything that makes up PD&R: the mission, people, funding, projects, data, dissemination and outreach, and partner engagement.
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Cityscape: The Fair Housing Act at 50 Volume 21, Number 1Cityscape: The Fair Housing Act at 50 Volume 21, Number 1

The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies. Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Building Even Better Homes: Strategies for Promoting Innovation in Home BuildingBuilding Even Better Homes: Strategies for Promoting Innovation in Home Building

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a long history of investing in a more innovative and productive homebuilding industry. This report provides an update to the 2003 RAND report, Building Better Homes: Government Strategies for Promoting Innovation in Housing, to better reflect the current understanding and practice of innovation in housing and identify the most useful Federal role for promoting such innovation. Consistent with the original report, the research team examined the structure, characteristics, and motivations within the homebuilding industry that either advance or hinder research and development (R&D), and the diffusion and adoption of housing innovations. The authors propose a new non-linear model of the innovation process that is realistic and appropriate to housing. The report outlines information-gathering and analytic activities needed to inform federal innovation policy and principles that should guide selection of policies for supporting housing technology innovation in public-private context, and strategies to increase the impact of federal R&D investments.

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Promoting Work and Self-Sufficiency for Housing Voucher Recipients: Early Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Program EvaluationPromoting Work and Self-Sufficiency for Housing Voucher Recipients: Early Findings From the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Evaluation

In 2012, HUD commissioned a national random assignment evaluation of the Family-Self Sufficiency (FSS) program's impacts on labor market and other quality of life outcomes for households receiving Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). The FSS program has two key components: i) funding for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to support case managers who work with participant households to develop individualized self-sufficiency plans and access other community services, and ii) funding to support savings and asset development via interest-bearing escrow accounts redeemable upon graduation from the program, generally after 5 years of FSS program participation. This report examines FSS program implementation, participants' engagement in the program, and program impacts on labor force participation and government benefits receipt in the first 24 months after program enrollment. The evaluation finds that while FSS increased participation in a range of employment-related services and support services by a statistically significant 13 percentage points, participants in the FSS program did not increase employment rates or average earnings in the first 2 years, but did experience small shifts from part-time to full-time employment.

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Deriving Local Trend Factors for Fair Market Rent EstimationDeriving Local Trend Factors for Fair Market Rent Estimation

In the fall of 2018, PD&R tasked a multidisciplinary research team to explore ways to refine HUD's current methodology, particularly as it relates to calculating a trend factor, to address public and Congressional concerns. The first phase (Phase I) of the study presents a statistical approach for deriving local trend factors for selected areas where local Consumer Price Index (CPI) data is available for use in the calculation of FMRs by expanding on HUD's existing methodology for estimating a national trend factor and applying it to CPI data for the 13 metropolitan and 4 regional areas of two different size classes produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The second phase (Phase II) of the report presents alternative approaches to augmenting local market conditions into calculations of FMRs for a broader range of metropolitan areas by utilizing alternative sources of data and empirical frameworks.

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Evaluation of the HUD-DOJ Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration Baseline ReportEvaluation of the HUD-DOJ Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration Baseline Report

The U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Justice (DOJ) launched the Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration in 2016. HUD-DOJ are conducting a formative evaluation to assess whether providing permanent supportive housing (PSH) within a pay-for-success (PFS) framework is a successful and cost-effective way of using PSH to provide housing stability and reduce social service use and recidivism for a population continually cycling between homeless services and the criminal justice system. PFS is an innovative financing model that leverages philanthropic and private dollars to provide up-front financing, with the government paying after they generate results, i.e. "pay for success." This baseline report covers the initial grant implementation period from October 2016 through December 2017 and contributes to research on how communities are working to launch PFS projects to fund PSH for the reentry population experiencing chronic homelessness. It describes the implementation of PFS across seven sites during the first 14 months of the Demonstration. The 7 Demonstration sites started at different stages, and 6 of the 7 sites confronted different challenges and achieved different milestones as they advanced to the next PFS stage.

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Understanding Encampments of People Experiencing Homelessness and Community Responses: Emerging Evidence as of Late 2018Understanding Encampments of People Experiencing Homelessness and Community Responses: Emerging Evidence as of Late 2018

This paper documents what is known about homeless encampments as of late 2018, based on a review of the limited literature produced by academic and research institutions and public agencies, supplemented by interviews with key informants. This paper is part of a larger research study, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Policy Development and Research and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. The goal is to contribute to the understanding of homelessness, including the characteristics of homeless encampments and the people who stay in them, and of local responses addressing encampments and their associated costs. The larger final research report is anticipated January 2020.

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Addressing Housing Affordability in High-Cost Metropolitan Areas in the United StatesAddressing Housing Affordability in High-Cost Metropolitan Areas in the United States

The Senate Report 115-268, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2018, requested that HUD investigate the rental housing affordability crisis in high-cost metropolitan areas and recommend potential solutions to help states and their local government entities. This report summarizes the nation’s rental affordability problem, identifies metropolitan areas with the greatest affordability challenges, and offers recommendations for what these communities can do to alleviate shortages of affordable rental housing. The report also highlights a select number of exemplary approaches that some of these high-cost communities have already implemented to address the affordability crisis.

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Evidence Matters Winter 2019Evidence Matters Winter 2019

First used in the 1970s, housing vouchers — beginning as the Section 8 program and now as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program — have become HUD’s primary means for providing housing assistance to low-income renters. The HCV program subsidizes rental payments for privately owned units, making the landlords who own these homes critical to the program’s success. Despite their important role in supplying affordable housing, landlords have not been the subject of much research until recently. Current HUD-sponsored research is beginning to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge about how and why landlords choose to accept vouchers. This knowledge should help HUD, public housing agencies (PHAs), and local government entities improve the efforts they are already implementing to increase landlord participation. This issue of Evidence Matters focuses on the research regarding landlord acceptance of vouchers, the efforts to increase participation, and the implications of landlord participation for the housing choices of voucher households.

The lead article, “Landlords: Critical Participants in the Housing Choice Voucher Program,” provides a basic overview of the HCV program and the role that landlords play in it; examines the implications of voucher acceptance for assisted households; surveys existing research on landlord participation; and provides examples of the types of program and initiatives that HUD, PHAs, and local governments are pursuing to increase voucher acceptance. The Research Spotlight, “HUD-Sponsored Research Sheds New Light on HCV Landlords,” by Meena Bavan and Paul Joice, discusses the findings of two recent HUD-sponsored studies, “A Pilot Study of Landlord Acceptance of Housing Choice Vouchers,” and “Urban Landlords and the Housing Choice Voucher Program: A Research Report.” Finally, the In Practice article, “PHAs Encourage Landlord Participation With Incentives,” discusses initiatives in Marin County, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, that offer financial benefits, education, and streamlined administrative processes to encourage landlords to lease to voucher holders.

We hope that this edition of Evidence Matters provides a helpful overview of this critical topic. Our next issue will focus on tax incentives. Please provide feedback on any of our issues at www.huduser.gov/forums.

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Landlord Participation StudyLandlord Participation Study

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program is the largest rental housing subsidy program in the United States and has the potential to increase housing options for low-income families. In order to realize this potential, however, the program must attract landlords who accept housing choice vouchers. The primary objectives of this study are: 1) to provide insights from Public Housing Authority (PHA) staff on the factors associated with landlord decisions about whether to participate in the program; and 2) to identify a collection of promising and innovative practices that PHAs have used to increase landlord participation. The study provides key insights into landlord participation in the HCV program and the perspectives of PHA staff on factors influencing landlord decisions on whether to participate. The study also identifies a diverse collection of innovative activities adopted by PHAs to mitigate financial concerns among landlords, make the HCV program simpler, and alleviate landlord concerns about HCV tenants. The study finds that a majority of PHA staff interviewed identified financial reasons as the most important factor affecting landlord participation - with payment standards and fair market rents, damage costs and security deposits, and profit motivations cited as key determining factors.

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Data Use and Challenges in Using Pay for Success to Implement Permanent Supportive Housing: Lessons From the HUD-DOJ DemonstrationData Use and Challenges in Using Pay for Success to Implement Permanent Supportive Housing: Lessons From the HUD-DOJ Demonstration

The U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Justice (DOJ) launched the Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration in 2016. HUD-DOJ are conducting a formative evaluation to assess whether providing permanent supportive housing (PSH) within a pay-for-success (PFS) framework is a successful and cost-effective way of using PSH to provide housing stability and reduce social service use and recidivism for a population continually cycling between homeless services and the criminal justice system. PFS is an innovative financing model that leverages philanthropic and private dollars to provide up-front financing, with the government paying after they generate results, i.e. “pay for success.”
The current formative evaluation deliverables include a Research Brief that documents the challenges faced by the grantees and their solutions. This Research Brief documents data challenges that arose in four areas: stakeholders, data quality, privacy, and timeliness of data. Although data challenges played a role in lengthening feasibility analyses beyond the anticipated 1-year timeline, many of the seven sites in the HUD-DOJ PFS Demonstration made important progress in bringing stakeholders to the table to support data access, negotiating privacy concerns and data sharing agreements, and problem-solving data quality issues or delays in data access.

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Small Area Fair Market Rent Demonstration Evaluation: Final ReportSmall Area Fair Market Rent Demonstration Evaluation: Final Report

This groundbreaking report evaluates the impact of implementing Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) in seven Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) in a variety of geographic and market types. This report examines whether and to what extent the shift from metropolitan-wide Fair Market Rents (FMRs) to ZIP Code-based SAFMRs provides better access to areas of higher opportunity for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) families. The report also examines how the use of SAFMRs affects HCV families and landlords, as well as the impact of SAFMRS on Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) paid by HUD and the tenant portion of rent paid by SAFMR families. This report also reviews the PHA administrative procedures imposed and costs incurred in implementing SAFMRs.

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Understanding Rapid Re-housing: Systematic Review of Rapid Re-housing Outcomes LiteratureUnderstanding Rapid Re-housing: Systematic Review of Rapid Re-housing Outcomes Literature

The primary goal of rapid re-housing (RRH) is to provide temporary assistance that quickly moves individuals and families who experience literal homelessness into permanent housing while providing appropriate time-limited supports to help them stabilize there (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2014a). Guidance released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) in 2012 specifies three core components for RRH programs: (1) housing identification, (2) rent and move-in assistance, and (3) case management and services. This systematic review of RRH outcomes literature summarizes the available evidence on rapid rehousing with a specific focus on how rapid re-housing programs have performed in relation to performance benchmarks. This report also presents descriptive information on the design and implementation of RRH programs, drawing on the research literature and on the authors’ knowledge of RRH practice.

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Understanding Rapid Re-housing: Supplemental Analysis of Data from the Family Options StudyUnderstanding Rapid Re-housing: Supplemental Analysis of Data from the Family Options Study

Rapid re-housing programs provide temporary assistance to individuals and families who experience homelessness so they may quickly move into permanent housing and stabilize there (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2014). Since 2009, the number of communities in the United States using rapid re-housing (RRH) programs to address homelessness has grown from just a few to several hundred. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is sponsoring the Understanding Rapid Re-housing Study to address important questions about RRH assistance. To carry out the study, Abt Associates is synthesizing the current body of research available on RRH, conducting new analysis of existing data, and collecting new data to analyze current RRH program designs and households’ experiences using RRH assistance.This paper is the deliverable for Task 6 of the Understanding Rapid Re-housing Study. The paper presents new analysis about short-term rent subsidies and associated services provided by rapid re-housing programs using data collected for the Family Options Study.

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Cityscape: Youth Homelessness Volume 20, Number 3Cityscape: Youth Homelessness Volume 20, Number 3

The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies. Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Who Participates in Homebuyer Education and Counseling Services and Why? Insights From HUD’s First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling DemonstrationWho Participates in Homebuyer Education and Counseling Services and Why? Insights From HUD’s First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration

Congress and many researchers and practitioners in the field of housing counseling have asked whether pre-purchase homeownership counseling for first-time borrowers leads to better borrower outcomes and reduced lender risk relative to no counseling. HUD designed The First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration as a large-scale randomized experiment to answer the question about the relative efficacy of homebuyer education and counseling on first-time borrowers. Because of the richness of the data collected on study participants at baseline and during the service participation period of the Demonstration, a detailed analysis of the study participants’ personal characteristics that are associated with program participation in – both initiation and completion of – in-person and remote homebuyer education and counseling services was possible. Key findings from Who Participates in Homebuyer Education and Counseling Services and Why? Insights from HUD’s First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration indicate that women and homebuyers with greater education were more likely to participate in homebuyer education and counseling services in general. Those at an early stage of the homebuying process, those who reported being “pretty good at math,” or those who planned to purchase a home without a co-borrower were more likely to participate in in-person services. Those who planned to spend more years living in their purchased home, who scored better on a baseline mortgage literacy quiz, or who had a higher credit score were more likely to participate in remote services. This paper provides data that can inform how HUD’s Housing Counseling Program and service providers market and deliver homebuyer education and counseling services, and serves as a useful basis for readers to assess the ultimate findings of the Demonstration that will be forthcoming in future reports.



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Interface of Mobility and Sustainability: Thompson v. HUD Volume 1: Findings Final ReportInterface of Mobility and Sustainability: Thompson v. HUD Volume 1: Findings Final Report

This study satisfied the 6 research objectives specified in the Final Settlement Agreement from Thompson v. HUD, a landmark public housing segregation lawsuit. Inadditon to the six objectives that guided this research, the Settlement Agreement provided for housing choice vouchers (HCV) for the plaintiff class (African American public housing residents) to move to “opportunity” communities.



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