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Recent Releases


Cityscape: Borrower Beware, Volume 18, Number 2Programs of HUD

Programs of HUD describes the major rental, mortgage, grant, other assistance, and regulatory programs of the Department. It is through these programs that HUD works to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers, meet the need for quality affordable rental homes, utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life, and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

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Evaluation of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD): Interim ReportA Pilot Study of Landlord Acceptance of Housing Choice Vouchers

This pilot study uses rigorous paired testing methodology to explore landlord treatment of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders during the initial stages of the housing search process. It is the first study to use paired testing methods across multiple sites to examine landlord treatment of HCV holders. The study finds that landlords often refuse to rent to HCV holders. In most cases, the landlord refusal takes place early in the search process, when a tester calls the landlord and asks whether Housing Choice Vouchers are accepted. In other cases, the landlord may suggest that vouchers are accepted, but subsequently fail to show up for a scheduled appointment. Landlord denial rates vary across the five study sites and may be influenced by factors such as state or local laws that prohibit discrimination by source of income (particularly local source of income laws that include protections for Section 8/voucher holders), housing market conditions, and voucher payment standards.

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Evaluation of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD): Interim ReportStrong Cities, Strong Communities National Resource Network Program Evaluation

Initially funded with $10 million from HUD, the NRN provided direct technical assistance (TA) through five organizations: Enterprise Community Partners (lead organization); Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM); HR&A Advisors; the International City County Management Association (ICMA); and the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Services. Generally, the quality of the TA delivered was high and well-received in the target communities. However, the evaluation's overall assessment of the effectiveness of the program is inconclusive. The evaluation was unable to determine whether the TA was successful in addressing the overarching goal of the NRN - to "provide the most distressed US cities with the capacity to address their own underlying economic and fiscal plight in a workable manner." NRN TA engagements were viewed as a success and local representative indicated they thought their city would not have been able to accomplish the same tasks without the NRN assistance. In some cases, respondents indicated the outcomes of these engagement will take a long time to be apparent, and some sites expressed concerns about the sustainability of these changes due to issues with capacity and priority setting in their community.

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Family Options StudyProposals to Update the Fair Market Rent Formula

The Senate Committee report accompanying the 2018 appropriations act expresses concerns about the accuracy of FMRs, particularly in areas where rents "have risen quickly." The report directs HUD to submit a report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations "describing proposals to update the FMR formula to more accurately reflect the current housing market." This report recounts the manner in which FMRs are calculated and discusses measures of the accuracy of FMRs. Within the report, HUD breaks the FMR calculation into 3 components and describes the potential sources of inaccuracy for each component along with possible remedies. The 3 components are the FMR trend factor, the inflation-based update factor, and the base rent data from the American Community Survey.

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Evidence Matters: Winter 2016Assessment of Small Area Median Family Income Estimates

As directed by the committee report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, HUD looks at the current measurement methodology of area median income (AMI) in metropolitan areas in order to more accurately and locally measure AMI to offer affordable housing In accordance with this request, HUD offers this report which examines issues across the following five sections:

Review of Current Median Family Income and Income Limits Calculation Methods

Assessment of the Feasibility of Calculating Small Area Median Family Income Estimates

Discussion of the Administrative Complexity of Using Small Area Median Family Income Estimates

Enumeration of the Known Federal Programs Using HUD’s Median Family Income Estimates and Associated Income Limits

Recommendations for Future Median Family Income Estimates and the Impact on Affordable Housing



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Manufactured Housing: Reflections From HUD LeadershipUrban Landlords and the Housing Choice Voucher Program: A Research Report

This study investigates the role of landlords in low-rent housing markets in Baltimore, Cleveland, and Dallas and the role landlords play in shaping the residential experience of low- and moderate-income renters, especially households in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. The study is based on interviews and observations of a sample of 127 landlords and property managers, seventy-three percent of whom accept housing choice vouchers. The report shows how local rental markets influence landlords' interest to participate in the HCV program, including: (1) financial motivations (reliable payments); (2) attitudes about housing voucher tenants; and (3) interactions with the public housing authority (PHA). Among landlords who chose not to participate in the HCV program, the primary reasons stated were negative experiences with the program itself, including frustration with the inspection process, general bureaucracy, and disappointment when the PHA did not take the landlord's side in conflicts between landlord and tenant. The study suggests there are opportunities to recruit landlords into the HCV program by focusing on the things that matter most to them-reliable rent payments and tenants who stay a while, help care for the property, and do not cause damage.

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A Qualitative Assessment of Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness: Policy and Practice ImplicationsConnectHome Initiative: Final Report

The ConnectHome initiative is a collaboration between communities, the private sector, and the Federal Government to expand high-speed internet access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and electronic devices to low income households living in HUD Public Housing units. ConnectHome launched at Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) in 28 communities covering a wide range of urban, rural, and tribal land. HUD partnered with an external research team, Insight Policy Research to evaluate ConnectHome. The report includes: A baseline access survey to measure internet access in the home, devices used, and reasons for lack of internet access; a telephone-based internet use survey of recent ConnectHome subscribers to assess how public housing residents use the internet at home; and case studies of five sites based on interviews and focus groups to understand how sites approach implementation of the program, address challenges, and understand outcomes.

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Cityscape: Contesting the Streets, Volume 18, Number 1Displacement of Lower-Income Families in Urban Areas Report

Congress asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to examine the effects of rapidly rising rents in urban areas across the nation and ways to avoid displacement. This report reviews the recent research on the causes and consequences of gentrification and identifies key steps policymakers can take to foster neighborhood change that is both inclusive and equitable. Approaches vary, but share a focus on the preservation and production of affordable housing and collaboration and partnership among local governments. This report suggests four key strategies that could address displacement of lower-income families and long-time residents in urban areas and alleviate the pressures of gentrification on housing affordability and community stability.

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Data on Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2013Racial and Ethnic Differences in Housing Search: Final Report

This research adds new insights about the housing search process that renters undertake, and how this process differs by race and ethnicity. By combining robust survey data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the American Housing Survey (AHS), and the Chicago Area Study (CAS), and original data collection from a convenience sample of 135 recent movers and 351 current searchers from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the study provides the most comprehensive picture to date about the rental housing search process.

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