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Mission Statement

To inform policy development and implementation to improve life in American communities through conducting, supporting, and sharing research, surveys, demonstrations, program evaluations, and best practices.


Background

PD&R was established in 1973 as an office headed by an Assistant Secretary. The statutory authority for PD&R' s research activities is found in Title V of the 1970 Housing Act, which authorizes programs of "research, studies, testing, and demonstrations relating to the missions and programs of the Department." Research priorities have differed from administration to administration, with varying mixes of housing studies, housing technology research, demonstrations, HUD program evaluations, and policy reports. PD&R' s research activities are designed to have immediate relevance to the policy issues facing the Secretary and his principal staff.

PD&R also provides analytical expertise and information resources to help senior HUD staff make informed policy decisions. For instance, PD&R plays a policy advisory role in preparing HUD' s regulatory, budget, and legislative proposals, and in other activities such as assessing the economic effect of HUD’s regulations and setting performance goals and measures.

PD&R provides a valuable service to researchers and the public by expanding the availability of statistics on housing and urban development. In addition to the American Housing Survey and State of the Cities Data Systems, PD&R makes available (1) unique data on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit; (2) annual publications of fair market rents (FMRs) and estimates of Area Median Family Income, which are used as a standards for determining rent and subsidy levels in HUD and other federal and state housing programs; and (3) a variety of other publications on the characteristics of families assisted under HUD programs.

A description of PD&R offices and divisions can be found here.


Biennial Report

This report highlights PD&R’s most notable and transformative accomplishments during that two-years period.

Biennial Report FY 2013-2014

Biennial Report FY 2011-2012


HUD Strategic Plan 2014-2018

This document presents the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2014 through 2018.



PD&R Overview

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) supports the Department's efforts to help create cohesive, economically healthy communities.

PD&R is responsible for maintaining current information on housing needs, market conditions, and existing programs, as well as conducting research on priority housing and community development issues. The Office provides reliable and objective data and analysis to help inform policy decisions. PD&R is committed to involving a greater diversity of perspectives, methods, and researchers in HUD research.

In 1978, PD&R established HUD USER, an information source for housing and community development researchers, academics, policymakers, and the American public. HUD USER is the primary source for federal government reports and information on housing policy and programs, building technology, economic development, urban planning, and other housing-related topics. HUD USER also creates and distributes a wide variety of useful information products and services. The Clearinghouse Help Desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 Eastern time; the toll-free number is 1-800-245-2691. Publication requests and general inquiries can also be made by sending an email to mailto:helpdesk@huduser.org


Katherine M. O’Regan, Ph.D. - Assistant Secretary

Jean Lin Pao - General Deputy Assistant Secretary

PD&R organization charts are available here.


HUD Historical Timeline

 
Guidelines and Brochures
 

  • Data Sets reference Guide Data Sets Reference Guide Learn More>>
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  • Biennial Report FY 2013-2014The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), is pleased to present fiscal years (FY) 2013 and 2014 Biennial Report. Learn More>>
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  • Guidelines on Preparing a Report for PublicationThis guide was prepared in response to numerous inquiries received by PD&R's Research Utilization Division (RUD) from HUD staff and contractors about how to prepare reports for publication and about publication standards and guidelines. Compiled in a single volume that can be readily shared with others, the guide addresses a variety of topics designed to answer frequently asked questions. It goes through a typical report section by section, providing explanations, tips, and guidance on formatting and style. It provides suggestions for making publications ready for timely Web posting and offers helpful hints for those asked to prepare material based on research findings. Learn More>>
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  • Guidelines for Delivery of Electronic FilesThe Guidelines for Delivery of Electronic Files, in pdf (*.pdf, 26 KB) format, are to ensure that electronic media are readable by the users. The intended recipient must approve any exceptions in advance. Additional specifications or exceptions may be required in individual projects and will be included in the statement of work for the project. These guidelines apply to both data files from data gathering, analysis or presentations projects (which may use statistical, database, or geographic information applications) as well as smaller, written projects (which may use word processing, page layout, spreadsheet, internet based, or presentation applications). Learn More>> Hide

     


  • Guidelines for Delivery of Electronic FilesFor more information about HUD USER programs and activities, please download the HUD USER brochure, Housing Research Delivered to Your Doorstep and Your Desktop. Learn More>>Hide

     

     

     

     

     


  • Guide to Using Data SetsHUD USER provides interested researchers with access to the original data sets generated by PD&R-sponsored data collection efforts. A data set reference guide is available here. The Guide to PD&R Data Sets, in pdf format (1.86 MB, updated Fall 2013), provides information on each of the data sets posted on this site. It is intended to help you identify PD&R data sets that can be used as a basis for your research or analysis. Learn More>>
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Policy Development and Support

Drawing on its research and extensive program knowledge, PD&R advises the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and principal staff on program policy issues arising from the formulation of legislative and budget proposals, from regulatory responsibilities, and from other proposed major actions of the Department. Recent examples of PD&R' s policy advisory role include providing data, analysis, and other input on issues such as regulatory and policy changes, as well as preparation of the Administration's annual budget and legislative proposals.

Research

Using in-house staff and contractors, PD&R undertakes studies and issues reports on HUD programs to determine how well they are achieving their objectives and how they can be improved. PD&R also conducts studies and issues reports on housing and community development matters not tied directly to HUD programs.

PD&R plays two roles in the Transformation Initiative, administering the research and demonstrations and serving as the technical lead Department-wide on technical assistance projects. Read more about HUD’s Transformation Initiative and projects funded under it.

To learn more about specific current research projects, click here.

Demonstration Projects

PD&R conducts a limited number of demonstration projects based on new program concepts. The purpose of the demonstrations is to test new programs systematically to determine if they have measurable impacts that can inform public policy. Current example is the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) addressing ways to bring families receiving HUD housing assistance to greater self-sufficiency.

Data Collection, Surveys, Analysis, and Dissemination

PD&R makes a major contribution to the body of housing research by analyzing, distributing, and maintaining nationwide databases on housing market and local economic conditions. In cooperation with the Census Bureau, PD&R produces the American Housing Survey, a biannual survey of the nation's housing market, as well as other surveys of housing markets. PD&R has created and maintains several important housing and urban databases, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit database and the State of the Cities Data Systems, which are available on our website, www.HUDUSER.org (part of a research information service and clearinghouse known as HUD USER that also offers Help Desk assistance at 1-800-245-2691).

As part of its in-house research efforts, PD&R maintains numerous other databases on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the mortgage market. PD&R also maintains extensive data on the characteristics of assisted housing tenants and voucher recipients. In-house analysis of these data has resulted in important policy recommendations by PD&R staff.

Research Dissemination

Periodically, PD&R convenes conferences and seminars on housing and community development issues, often in conjunction with other HUD offices or outside organizations. PD&R brings scholars, decisionmakers, and advocates together in a variety of settings ranging from brown-bag seminars to major policy conferences. Examples include quarterly briefings and other events that can be found here.

All research reports and studies that PD&R funds or prepares are available to the public in hard copy and electronic formats. Both versions can be obtained on www.HUDUSER.org. PD&R also publishes a number of periodicals, including Cityscape, Evidence Matters and an online magazine Edge which is updated bi-weekly.

Peer Review of Highly Influential Scientific Assessments

An Information Quality Bulletin of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), dated December 16, 2004, and published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2005 (pages 2664-2677), required federal agencies to conduct a "peer review" of "Influential and Highly Influential Scientific Information," as those terms are defined in the Bulletin prior to dissemination to the public.

As of July 19, 2013 HUD is not aware of any influential scientific information, as defined in the OMB Bulletin, that is subject to the Bulletin's peer review reporting requirements.

For questions regarding the peer review requirement of the Bulletin, please contact Mark Shroder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring, at (202) 402-5922. For legal questions, please contact Ariel Pereira, Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Regulations, at (202) 708-3055.

Research in the Field

The field economists within the Economic Market Analysis Division (EMAD) provide local and regional market intelligence, and conduct market analysis reviews of FHA multifamily housing applications.  Customers include Regional Administrators, Field Office Directors and Program Managers along with their clients, including other Government agencies especially interested in housing demand forecasts generated by the field economist team. Headquarters staff within the division produces Fair Market Rents, income limits, annual inflation adjustment factors, and Fair Share funds allocation factors used in HUD's assisted housing programs. The division also oversees and edits the regional summaries and local housing market profiles prepared by the field economists for HUD's quarterly publication, U.S. Housing Market Conditions.

Transformation Initiative

In HUD's Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations Act, Congress enacted the Transformation Initiative (TI), which made up to one percent of program funds available for (1) research, evaluation, and program metrics; (2) program demonstrations; (3) technical assistance; and (4) information technology.  In Fiscal Year 2014, the Congress continues to fund HUD’s Transformation Initiative, including “not less” than $15 million for research with the remainder for HUD-wide Technical Assistance. Learn More.


PD&R’s mission is to provide reliable and objective housing research and market data to our constituents, as well as skilled analysis that assists HUD's leadership in making informed policy decisions. We focus on finding definitive answers to questions about what programs work and how they can be made to work better, through quick-turnaround studies and conferences, as well as through long-term evaluations that systematically measure performance outcomes and suggest possible cost-effective enhancements. Learn more about current PD&R Research.

PD&R Offices and Initiatives

PD&R regularly interacts with the four primary HUD program offices and employs staff who are familiar with all of their programs. PD&R staff provides these offices with technical support, data, maps, and other materials relevant to their programs. Additionally, PD&R serves as a resource of information and institutional knowledge for divisions within the Secretary's Office, providing briefing materials and rapid responses for the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.

Data Support for Program Operations

PD&R maintains and produces large databases that are essential to HUD program operations. This support includes collecting information through national and locally based surveys, including FMRs and assisted housing income limits. PD&R also has the lead in conducting periodic quality control studies that measure the accuracy of housing program rent and subsidy determinations and serve as the basis for setting priorities for program office corrective actions.

Economic Analysis of Major HUD Regulations

Executive Order No. 12866 requires that federal agencies promulgating regulations prepare economic analyses of regulations that have a significant economic effect. In addition, the Regulatory Flexibility act (RFa) requires agencies to prepare regulatory flexibility analyses for regulations that have a substantial impact on a significant number of small entities. Economic and regulatory flexibility analyses are frequently combined into a single document. The intent of E.O. 12866 and the RFa is for the required analyses to inform the rulemaking process and ensure adequate public understanding of the potential effects of major regulations. Because of the high level of expertise in economics and statistical analysis required to complete these large-scale assessments, PD&R is the primary manager of the Department's regulatory analysis function. PD&R reviews all new HUD regulations for potential impact on the economy; prepares economic analyses of new HUD rules, as needed, or directs the preparation of economic analyses of new HUD rules by PD&R contractors; reviews economic analyses prepared by other offices for methodological soundness and feasibility; and advises program office officials on how proposed regulations can be altered to achieve the regulatory objective while avoiding unnecessary costs to the economy.

Federal Housing Administration Support

PD&R supports the Federal Housing administration by providing FHA with key policy and technical support. We also offer financial expertise on FHA's actuarial studies, assist FHA on automated underwriting and mortgage scorecard initiatives, conduct program evaluations, analyze mortgage market trends, and provide general policy support on a wide range of topics (such as FHA insurance premiums). In addition, PD&R Field Economists conduct market analysis of applications for FHA multifamily mortgage insurance. The most significant PD&R effort involves automated underwriting and mortgage scorecard work.

Information for Consumers

PD&R works with other agencies and private-sector organizations to make american housing more affordable, durable, safe, energy-efficient, and disaster-resistant by sponsoring objective research on the effects of new programs and technologies.

For consumers seeking information on home renovation and new construction, PD&R has developed the Consumer’s Guide to Energy-Efficient and Healthy Homes, which provides a concise overview of various building products, systems, and design/construction strategies, along with links to more detailed information on other federal websites.

International and Philanthropic Activities

The Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) supports HUD's efforts to find new solutions and align ideas and resources by working across public, private, and civil sectors to further HUD's mission. IPI does this by performing research, developing networks, and facilitating collaboration of key partners and resources. To position HUD as a hub for innovation, IPI works to build new capacity and clarity within HUD by providing expert resources and a venue for staff and partners to access the best available evidence, innovations, and lessons from the philanthropic and international sectors. Within these sectors, IPI supports HUD and the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) by:

  • Engaging in outreach and information exchange;
  • Providing client management and assistance;
  • Conducting joint research and knowledge management; and
  • Stimulating project co-investment.

IPI has the unique task of linking domestic policy and practice to innovative and timely models from our international and philanthropic partners.

Policy Translation and Outreach

The Research Utilization Division (RUD) disseminates PD&R and partner housing and community development research. RUD reaches out to its stakeholders using this website, social media, and online magazine. The dissemination effort provides information, research findings, and market and program support data; housing policy and research translation on-line, in publications, and in-person. Awards and competitions are administered through RUD.