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. 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. A brief description of some of the major research and demonstration projects initially funded in FY 2010 follows.
The Transformation Initiative was renewed under the full-year continuing appropriations act for FY 2011 to continue existing research and demonstration projects and again fund technical assistance and information technology. HUD is in the process of submitting its revised plan to Congress.
Read more about HUD’s ongoing Transformation Initiative related to the President’s FY 2012 Budget here. Testimony of PD&R Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic, Chief Operating Officer Estelle Richman, and Chief Information Officer Jerry Williams supporting HUD’s request for TI in FY 2012 is available here.
This project will develop a cost model for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program that estimates the correlations of average per-tenant voucher costs with various contemporaneous national and regional economic measures that are forecasted by respected private research entities. The Model will monitor the impact of changes in Fair Market Rents, payment standards, and tenant rent requirements (and possibly other HCV policies) on the cost of the HCV program. The Model will be designed for use in budget forecasting, and monitoring costs in the HCV program.
The Office of Policy Development and Research is conducting several major demonstrations in the following areas: Family Self-Sufficiency; Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling; Sustainable Building Practices; and Homeless Families Intervention. The purpose of this project is to enhance these demonstration studies by providing a vehicle for conducting a number of small supplemental research grant projects associated with these demonstrations.
HUD has placed renewed emphasis on sustainable development. Among the areas of emphasis are transit-oriented development, green building, inclusionary zoning, energy efficient mortgages, and regional planning. This project will select the best proposals from the research community for studies related to sustainable development.
Naturally-occurring experiments result when, for example, state and local programs cannot serve everyone who is eligible. If it is reasonable to assume that those who are not served are comparable to those who are (as when they are randomly assigned to receive or not receive entry into the program), comparing outcomes for those who were in the program with those who were not can provide compelling evidence of a program's effectiveness. This grant competition will invite researchers to identify naturally-occurring experiments and to conduct research on them.
The overall objective of Housing Discrimination Studies – 2010 is to conduct a series of task orders over a five year period through an indefinite quantity contract (IQC) for research on discrimination in the U.S. in the housing rental and sales markets. HUD intends to measure discrimination against African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and other possible categories, for example, gays and lesbians, persons with disabilities, families with children, and families with certain sources of income (e.g., Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance). Some measures will produce national estimates and others will be pilot test estimates of discrimination against some of these groups in smaller geographies. These studies will typically use the method of paired testing, although other studies related to fair housing may also be issued as task orders under this IQC. The first task order implemented will focus on replicating the principal measures of discrimination against African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans in the rental and sales housing markets in the 2000 national housing discrimination study.
This is a Congressionally-mandated study of the housing needs of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Among Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities, the quality of housing is more likely to be inadequate and conditions overcrowded than among the overall population. This study will gather and analyze data from multiple sources including the census, a survey of households in tribal areas, interviews with tribal leaders and housing providers, and a survey of lenders. The study will also examine the changes brought about by the passage of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) in 1996.
The overall objective of this study is to ascertain how much it costs a public housing agency (PHA) to run an efficient HCV program for the purpose of developing a formula for allocating administrative fees. The central research questions to be answered in this study are: (1) What constitutes an efficient HCV program? (2) What is a realistic expectation of what a PHA should be doing to run an efficient HCV program? (3) How much does it cost to run an efficient HCV program? (4) Is there any variation in costs across efficient PHAs? (5) What accounts for any variation in cost? (6) What is the minimum size of a financially feasible HCV program? (7) What would be an appropriate formula for allocating administrative fees to housing authorities operating HCV programs? (8) What would appropriate fees/costs be for FSS coordinators? (9) Additionally, what do other agencies in other program contexts do to determine how much to pay in administrative fees? The Department needs a formula that can be used on an ongoing basis to determine administrative fee allocation for the HCV program.
The purpose of this random-assignment study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. FSS has operated since 1992 and serves voucher holders and residents of public housing. FSS case managers create a plan with families to achieve goals and connect with services that will enhance their employment opportunities. Families accrue money in an escrow account as their earnings increase. This study will be designed to tell us how well families would have done in the absence of the program. It will document the progress of a group of FSS participants from initial enrollment to program completion (or other exit). A random assignment model will be used to find out whether FSS program features, rather than the characteristics of the participating families, cause tenant incomes to increase. The study is also intended to provide a deeper understanding of the program and illustrate strategies that assist participants in obtaining greater economic independence. While the main objective of FSS is stable, suitable employment, there are many interim outcomes of interest, which include: getting a first job; getting a higher paying job; self-employment/small business ownership; no longer needing benefits provided under one or more welfare programs; obtaining additional education, whether in the form of a high school diploma, higher education degree, or vocational training; buying a home; buying a car; setting up savings accounts; or accomplishing similar goals that lead to economic independence.
This is an evaluation of the FY 2010 Choice Neighborhoods Demonstration. The evaluation will document baseline conditions, provide an in-depth look at the implementation of revitalization strategies in the funded neighborhoods, and assess progress towards meeting program goals. The study will focus on program experience during the first three program years to provide policymakers with timely information on this new program
This project will implement a controlled experiment to measure the impact of pre-purchase counseling on a random sample of pre-purchase counselees over time. The experiment will provide estimates of the impact of pre-purchase counseling on tenure; location, cost, condition of homes purchased; mortgage terms and conditions; affordability of the property including maintenance costs, equity growth, and refinancing rates/terms/conditions; counselee's financial well-being, including non-housing credit/debt, debt levels and priorities, consistency and timeliness of debt payments, and savings rates and behaviors; and loan performance, including measures of prompt payment, prepayment, default, delinquency, and foreclosure.
The Rent Reform study will be a research experiment to test the effects of different rent schedules on households receiving federal housing assistance. The experiment will establish alternative rent structures, such as flat rents, ceiling rents, step rents, and possibly others. With the contractor's assistance, HUD will randomly assign residents to pay traditional rents or rents under the alternative structures. The contractor will track residents over time to determine their employment, earnings, wealth accumulation, education, and other self-sufficiency outcomes. The effect on the finances of the housing authority also would be assessed.
HUD has contracted with Abt Associates to design and implement a study of the impact of housing and services on homeless families. The study will compare several combinations of housing assistance and services across multiple sites, to determine which interventions work best to promote housing stability, family preservation, child well-being, adult well-being, and self-sufficiency. Up to 3,000 homeless families across twelve communities will be administered a baseline survey and then randomly assigned to one of four interventions: 1) subsidy only, typically a voucher, with no services attached; 2) project-based transitional housing, which will include up to 24 months of housing assistance and intensive supportive services; 3) rapid re-housing, which will be short-term rental assistance in conventional, private-market housing and limited services; and 4) usual care, which will encompass the services that the family would have received in the absence of the study.
The purpose of this Congressionally-mandated project is to facilitate sustainable construction in Indian country by providing technical assistance, and by documenting these activities and disseminating the results. A contractor will be selected to perform the following tasks to promote sustainable construction in Indian country: (1) Select and define specific sites that can qualify as potential Indian sustainable construction demonstration sites. (2) Provide technical assistance to the sites to construct developments using sustainable building techniques. (3) Document the activities undertaken in this project and assist in disseminating the demonstration results to a larger audience.