The primary objective of this study was to estimate the proportion of rental housing units developed using HOME funds and occupied for more than two years that were within the program's affordable rent limits. The study also sought to explain why rents were not within affordability limits for those units found to be non-compliant. A secondary objective of the study was to estimate the rent burden of households living in HOME units and the extent of receipt of tenant-based assistance.
The basic approach of the study was to collect data from a representative sample of rental projects funded by the HOME program in order to estimate the percentage of units that were within the affordability standards at least two years after initial occupancy. The sample universe was drawn from data available through HUD's HOME program database as of February 2000, when the study began. Since data collection began in June 2000, the study provides information on compliance and rent burdens in HOME rental projects that were completed by June 1998. Once initial data collection determined which projects apparently failed to meet the HOME program's affordability guidelines, intensive phone follow-up was conducted to investigate the reasons for apparent non-compliance. For the rent burden portion of the study, a brief telephone survey was administered to a sample of residents living in properties included in the study. The survey collected information on rent, utilities, gross income, and receipt of housing assistance.