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Case Studies of the Conversion of Project-Based Assistance to Tenant-Based Assistance


Authors: Abt Associates     Nolden, Sandra     Finkel, Meryl     Locke, Gretchen     Porcari, Diane M.    

Report Acceptance Date: August 2000 (224 pages)

Posted Date: March 19, 2007

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Across the United States, change is coming to some of the privately-owned rental housing developments that provide homes for low- and moderate-income households. Project-based assistance to these properties is being converted to tenant-based assistance. This report presents 12 case studies documenting conversions from project-based to tenant-based assistance in privately-owned developments funded under several programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

At HUD's request, the properties selected for this exploratory study fall into two categories: owner "opt-outs" of expiring project-based Section 8 contracts; and owner prepayments of HUD-insured or -assisted mortgages. Some properties fall into both categories. Eligible low-income households in these properties have been offered tenant-based Section 8 Rental Assistance (generally in the form of Section 8 vouchers) with the choice to either remain at the property or move elsewhere.

The goals of this research project were to:

  • Describe the characteristics and situations of the developments that are converting;
  • Identify factors that influence the decision of households receiving vouchers on whether to stay or move from developments that convert; and
  • Describe outcomes for vouchered-out tenants (both movers and stayers), such as housing and neighborhood satisfaction and changes in rent.


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