Where Are They Now?
A Study to Identify, Locate, and Survey Former Residents of Subsidized Housing
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) operates about 4 million units of assisted housing for needy families. Some policymakers and researchers believe that housing assistance should be temporary and used as a transition from dependence on public assistance to self-sufficiency. It may be the case that households that stop receiving housing assistance represent the success stories—that is, they become "self-sufficient" and no longer rely on government housing assistance. On the other hand, some households may stop receiving assistance because they are evicted or they cannot find suitable, affordable housing units where they can use vouchers. Currently, no studies provide adequate information to determine the status of households that have stopped receiving assistance; such information could inform ongoing debates about the role of housing assistance in helping families attain self-sufficiency. This project lays the groundwork for such a study.
The project involved three phases: obtaining HUD administrative data to determine which households had left assistance over a two-year time frame; using passive tracking methods to locate the identified households; and developing and pretesting a survey instrument focusing on issues of self-sufficiency and well-being for those households.