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Recent Releases


Evidence Matters: Winter 2016Evidence Matters: Winter 2016

This issue of Evidence Matters addresses some of the ways in which the links between health and housing are driving policymakers at all levels to develop new strategies to better serve Americans. The lead article, “Leveraging the Health-Housing Nexus,” discusses the many connections between housing and health proven by research as well as how federal policy is aligning programs and funding in both areas to improve health outcomes. The Research Spotlight piece, “Smoke-Free Public Housing: Research and Implementation,” looks at the research basis underpinning a proposed HUD rule to eliminate smoking in all public housing units. Finally, the In Practice article, “Financing Effective Housing Interventions With Pay for Success,” discusses several examples of interventions that aim to improve housing stability and health using the Pay for Success model, in which the organization providing services is paid only if it achieves positive outcomes. As recent events in Flint, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio have made terribly clear, environmental hazards like lead can have profound consequences on individuals and communities. While this issue does not directly address the crisis of lead in water systems, its articles discuss the ongoing challenge of lead remediation in America’s housing stock.

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Manufactured Housing: Reflections From HUD LeadershipManufactured Housing: Reflections From HUD Leadership

One of HUD’s major contributions to affordable housing is its Manufactured Housing Program, which began operation in 1976. Congress gave HUD preemptive authority to regulate the design and construction of manufactured housing (mobile homes) and to protect the purchasers of those homes. As part of HUD’s celebration of its 50th anniversary, PD&R profiled five individuals who were key to the development, administration, and maturation of HUD’s Manufactured Housing Program.

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A Qualitative Assessment of Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness: Policy and Practice ImplicationsA Qualitative Assessment of Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness: Policy and Practice Implications

On a single night in 2013—as measured by the Point-In-Time count conducted by homeless services providers under the auspice of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—more than 70,000 families and 130,000 children were experiencing homelessness across the United States. Of these families, 80 percent were headed by single mothers, and 40 percent had at least one child under the age of 1 (HUD, 2013a).

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Cityscape: Contesting the Streets, Volume 18, Number 1Cityscape: Contesting the Streets, Volume 18, 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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Data on Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2013Data on Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2013

In 2008, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA), requiring each state housing finance agency (HFA) that administers the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) to submit certain demographic and economic information on tenants in LIHTC units to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) according to standards determined by the Secretary of HUD. HERA specifically requires HFAs to submit to HUD information concerning race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rental payments of households residing in LIHTC properties. This report represents the second annual data release of information collected under this mandate. Detailed background of this data collection and a summary of LIHTC tenants as of December 31, 2012, are available in the report.

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Durability by Design 2nd Edition: A Professional’s Guide to Durable Home DesignDurability by Design 2nd Edition: A Professional’s Guide to Durable Home Design

A sustainable future for America requires sustainable buildings. And sustainable buildings must be durable buildings. And while the mention of the word “sustainability” is usually a trigger for designers and builders to think about energy efficiency and green building materials, building durability cannot be overlooked as a critical pillar of sustainability. Simply put, a home with a fantastic thermal envelope and high efficiency mechanical systems which is also riddled with prematurely failing building materials and systems is NOT green or sustainable. Green and sustainable homes must be durable homes.

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Choice Neighborhoods: Baseline Conditions and Early ProgressChoice Neighborhoods: Baseline Conditions and Early Progress

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) aims to transform distressed, high-poverty rate neighborhoods into revitalized mixed-income neighborhoods. Its primary vehicle to catalyze this transformation is the rebuilding of distressed public and assisted housing into energy-efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable.

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Evidence Matters: Transforming Knowledge into Housing and Community Development Policy: Summer/Fall 2015Evidence Matters: Transforming Knowledge into Housing and Community Development Policy: Summer/Fall 2015

This issue of Evidence Matters discusses regional planning and how communities can collaborate successfully on important and connected challenges, especially those related to housing, transportation, and sustainability. The lead article, “Partnerships and Planning for Impact,” presents an overview of the key concepts underpinning regional planning and of recent efforts to use regional planning to bolster economic and environmental resilience. The Research Spotlight piece, “Strategies for Regional Collaboration,” examines challenges and opportunities for implementing and evaluating regional partnerships. Finally, the In Practice article, “Moving Toward a Sustainable Future: Three Models of Regional Planning,” looks at how three regions — Northeast Ohio, Western North Carolina, and Puget Sound in Washington — have worked to address issues that exceed the reach of individual jurisdictions.

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Cityscape: Housing Discrimination Today, Volume 17, Number 3Cityscape: Housing Discrimination Today, Volume 17, 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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Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Evaluation: Final ReportVeterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Evaluation: Final Report

Concerned about the increasing risk of homelessness among veterans returning from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, in 2009 Congress authorized the Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration (VHPD), a joint program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Part of the Obama Administration’s plan to end veteran homelessness by 2016, VHPD was one of the first homelessness prevention programs to exclusively serve homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

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PD&R: A Historical Investigation At (ALMOST) 50PD&R: A Historical Investigation At (ALMOST) 50

Many stories could be told about the history of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). This one takes a case-specific approach, focusing on shifts over time between PD&R’s study of ways to produce a decent home for all American families, on the one hand, and ways to ensure that the most needy families can afford a decent home in a suitable environment.

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The Evolution of HUD’S Public-Private PartnershipsThe Evolution of HUD’S Public-Private Partnerships

Public private partnerships constitute an essential part of HUD’s policies and programs. This article describes HUD’s use of public private programs over the last 50 years to achieve efficiencies and meet key housing and community development goals.

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HUD at 50: Creating Pathways to OpportunityHUD at 50: Creating Pathways to Opportunity

OA stable home serves as the foundation of our lives. It’s where we begin every morning and where we end every night. It’s where we raise our families and build our futures. It provides us with the security to look towards a brighter tomorrow, and the peace of mind to pursue our dreams. For 50 years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has helped millions of Americans secure a place to call home.

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Gender,Gender, Neighborhood Context, and Youth Development

On June 10, 2014, HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) convened a panel of experts to discuss the role of gender in shaping the impact of neighborhood context on youth development. The convening was motivated by studies that found puzzling differences in the effects of the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing (MTO) demonstration program on boys and girls. In particular, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analyzing the outcomes of MTO found that girls and boys from MTO families were affected very differently when they moved from high- to low-poverty neighborhoods. The study found reduced rates of mental health problems among girls who moved out of high-poverty neighborhoods and increased rates of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and conduct disorder among boys who did the same. HUD convened the panel to draw on the expertise of the study's authors and other researchers to better understand the gender differences in the MTO outcomes, how policymakers should think about the role of gender in neighborhood effects, and how HUD programs should relate to them. Experts on the panel discussed the findings of the JAMA study, the near-term policy implications, and research needed to clarify issues related to this topic.

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Opportunity Neighborhoods for Latino and African American ChildrenOpportunity Neighborhoods for Latino and African American Children

The Denver Child Study explores the extent to which multiple dimensions of neighborhood context affect the physical and behavioral health, exposure to violence, risky behaviors, education, youth and young adult labor market outcomes, and marriage and childbearing of Latino and African-American children and youth from low-income families. The study uses a natural experiment involving the Denver, Colorado, Housing Authority (DHA), which since 1969 has operated public housing units located in a wide range of neighborhoods throughout the city and county of Denver. Because the initial assignment of households on the DHA waiting list to vacant public housing units (and, thus, to neighborhoods) mimics a random process, this program represents an unusual opportunity for reducing parental geographic selection bias and observing the unusual combination of low-income, minority youths raised for extended periods in advantaged (as well as disadvantaged) neighborhoods.

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Sustainable Construction in Indian Country: Expanding Affordability With Modular Multifamily Infill HousingSustainable Construction in Indian Country: Expanding Affordability With Modular Multifamily Infill Housing

Kah San Chako Haws (East House in Chinook) is the first multistory, multifamily modular building in Portland, OR. The three-building development houses nine low-income families in studio, one- and two-bedroom units. In an increasingly expensive housing market, the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) developed this prototype to demonstrate the cost and time savings that could be achieved in affordable housing while providing a unit superior to and greener than most conventional, affordable Kah San Chako Haws (East House in Chinook) is the first multistory, multifamily modular building in Portland, OR. The three-building development houses nine low-income families in studio, one- and two-bedroom units. In an increasingly expensive housing market, the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) developed this prototype to demonstrate the cost and time savings that could be achieved in affordable housing while providing a unit superior to and greener than most conventional, affordable housing.

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Final Report Sustainable Construction in Indian Country InitiativeFinal Report Sustainable Construction in Indian Country Initiative

The Sustainable Construction in Indian Country (SCinIC) initiative was a congressionally mandated effort of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research, in partnership with the HUD Office of Native American Programs (ONAP). The initiative promoted and supported sustainable construction practices in Native American communities through a range of tasks.

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Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves: Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2012Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves: Tenants in LIHTC Units as of December 31, 2012

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program provides tax credits to developers of affordable rental housing. The tax credits are provided during the first 10 years of a minimum 30-year compliance period during which rent and income restrictions apply. The LIHTC Program, although established in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (IRC), is structured such that state-allocating agencies administer most aspects of the program, including income and rent compliance, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) providing oversight and guidance. Local administration allows states to address affordable housing needs specific to their populations.

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The Family Unification Program: A Housing Resource for Youth Aging Out of Foster CareThe Family Unification Program: A Housing Resource for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

When youth in foster care reach age 18 (age 21 in some states) and leave the child welfare system without having achieved permanency through reunification, adoption, or legal guardianship, they must abruptly transition to living independently. Unlike their peers, these youth typically must make the transition without financial or other support from parents. As a result, many who age out of foster care find themselves homeless or precariously housed.

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Redevelopment Agencies in California: History, Benefits, Excesses, and ClosureRedevelopment Agencies in California: History, Benefits, Excesses, and Closure

Effective February 1, 2012, the State of California ceased operating local redevelopment agencies (RDAs), which had operated since the end of World War II. In recent times, these agencies served as an important component of the affordable housing development landscape in California. This paper, developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), examines the history of California’s RDAs, describes their successes and failures, and addresses the anticipated effects of their shut down on the future of affordable housing development in California.

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Impact of Oil and Gas Exploration on Affordable HousingImpact of Oil and Gas Exploration on Affordable Housing

This working paper, prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), Economic Market Analysis Division Gas/Oil Task Force (GOTF), examines the impact of oil and gas exploration on the affordable rental-housing market. The paper comprises three sections: the first provides a brief overview of affordable rental-housing programs, the second discusses the measurable impacts of oil and gas exploration on affordable housing, and the third reviews how HUD and state agencies are addressing these impacts. An appendix provides detailed definitions related to HUD and other affordable housing programs.

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Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster CareHousing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Senate report language accompanying HUD’s 2009 Appropriation directed the Secretary to “conduct an evaluation of the housing models that are most effective in preventing and ending homelessness for youth aged 16-24.” HUD chose to focus this research effort on the housing needs of the over 25,000 youth who “age out” of the foster care system each year. Data on the number of youth experiencing homelessness each year are both fragmented and sparse, but research on this population indicates that youth may be the single age group most at risk of homelessness. The Family Unification Program (FUP) is the only federal program that explicitly provides housing assistance for youth aging out of foster care, but until this time, little was known about the extent to which communities are utilizing FUP to serve youth, and the challenges and benefits to doing so.

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Continuity and Change: Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Housing Conditions of American Indians and Alaska NativesContinuity and Change: Demographic, Socioeconomic, and Housing Conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives

This interim report is part of the National Assessment of Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The project’s overarching purpose is to document the housing needs and conditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) and Native Hawaiians. As a component of this broader project, this specific report examines trends in the circumstances (social, economic, and housing) of the AIAN population using secondary sources, predominantly the products of the U.S. Census Bureau. The final report of this study will merge rich field research data with the findings presented here. Though this report only offers a partial picture, it contains new information about how Native Americans are faring in the Nation today. The housing needs and conditions of Native Hawaiians will be described in a separate report.

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Design Details for Accessible Disaster Relief HousingDesign Details for Accessible Disaster Relief Housing

The creation of emergency transportable, temporary housing that includes accessible features requires a specific set of tools that address unique design and construction challenges. These dwelling units are some of the smallest produced for housing, and they must accommodate a variety of functional criteria for mobility that often seems in conflict with the spatial requirements for accessibility. While the design and construction of accessible housing for disaster survivors requires attention to detail and some less common construction approaches, it can be relatively straightforward when integrated into the design and construction process. Many builders may find that the accessibility features of these homes are easily implemented and provide value for all residents.

This is not a regulatory document, but is intended to illustrate possible solutions, provide guidance to designers wishing to create accessible disaster relief housing, and aid the manufacturing industry. The focus of this publication is on the interior of these dwellings and is not site-specific, and so it does not include essential accessibility aspects of locating and installing the structures on site. Dwelling design is a creative process, and this document provides some approaches that can be used as a “point of departure” for designers to create safe, accessible housing units. Descriptions and graphic illustrations of accessible elements are provided in these pages, but it is not the intent of this guide to limit development of other accessible solutions, or to imply that this is a complete directory of all possible arrangements.

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Why Not In Our Community? Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing"Why Not In Our Community?" Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing

Regulatory barriers were exposed as a problem 13 years ago, when the Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing submitted its report, "Not in My Back Yard": Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing. Its basic finding was that exclusionary, discriminatory, or unnecessary regulations constituted barriers to affordable housing. Now this report updates the status of this problem and highlights the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) commitment to work with states and communities to do away with the regulatory barriers that drive up housing costs and reduce the nation's stock of affordable housing. Some progress is evident, but the problem persists. This update describes recent trends in regulatory barriers to affordable housing, reviews recent efforts by states and local communities to reduce these barriers, and details actions taken by HUD to eliminate regulatory barriers.

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Developing Choice Neighborhoods: An Early Look at Implementation in Five Sites - Interim ReportDeveloping Choice Neighborhoods: An Early Look at Implementation in Five Sites - Interim Report

The overarching goal of the Choice Neighborhoods program (Choice) is to redevelop distressed assisted housing projects and transform the neighborhoods surrounding them into mixed-income, high-opportunity places. Choice builds on lessons learned during HOPE VI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) long-running program to replace or rehabilitate distressed public housing. It maintains the emphasis of HOPE VI on public-private partnerships and mixed financing for replacing or rehabilitating assisted housing but extends eligibility to privately owned federally subsidized developments. It requires that grantees build at least one subsidized replacement housing unit for every assisted unit demolished in the target development. It also continues the emphasis of HOPE VI on protecting tenants during the redevelopment process and heightens aspirations to give existing tenants the opportunity to live in the redeveloped project upon its completion. It differs most from HOPE VI by providing funding for projects that create synergy between renovation of the target development and revitalization efforts within the neighborhood surrounding the target development. Beyond providing funding for neighborhood investments, Choice also fosters partnerships among organizations, agencies, and institutions working throughout the neighborhood to build affordable housing, provide social services, care for and educate children and youth, ensure public safety, and revitalize the neighborhood’s commercial opportunities and infrastructure.

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Evidence Matters: Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets: Winter 2014Evidence Matters: Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets: Winter 2014

This edition of Evidence Matters looks at residential and commercial vacancy from various perspectives and examines the work that communities are doing to limit or reverse their negative effects. The feature article, “Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets,” reviews the causes and consequences of vacancy and investigates the efforts of governments and nonprofits to better understand and alleviate the problem. “Targeting Strategies for Neighborhood Development,” the Research Spotlight article, explores the typologies of neighborhood distress that cities are employing to better understand local conditions and most effectively target limited resources, demonstrating the importance of data in understanding the scope of the problem. The In Practice section of this issue features two articles, each focusing on different approaches for managing vacant land. The first, “Countywide Land Banks Tackle Vacancy and Blight,” describes the critical role of local land banks in assembling parcels of land and maintaining vacant properties so that the land can eventually be returned to productive use. The second, “Temporary Urbanism: Alternative Approaches to Vacant Land,” examines creative strategies communities and citizens are using to generate short-term uses such as stores, parks, and art projects to bring vibrancy to otherwise blighted spaces.

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Study of PHAs' Efforts to Serve People Experiencing HomelessnessStudy of PHAs' Efforts to Serve People Experiencing Homelessness

The use of mainstream housing assistance programs will be essential if the nation is to achieve the goals of the 2010 Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, including ending chronic homelessness by 2015 and ending homelessness for families, youth, and children by 2020. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has residential programs specifically targeted to people experiencing homelessness, but those resources are small by comparison with the 2.5 million Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs) and the 1.1 million public housing units managed by public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country. This study was commissioned by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research to provide a status report on efforts by PHAs to serve homeless households with mainstream housing assistance resources. Data were collected from PHAs throughout 2012 and early 2013 using two approaches: a Webbased survey of roughly 4,000 PHAs and follow-up telephone discussions with staff at 120 PHAs.

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