This study is an assessment of the early implementation of the Voucher Homeownership Program. The purpose of this study is to provide insight into aspects of the program that are working well and those that are problematic. Although it is too premature to conduct a complete evaluation of the program at this time, this study provides useful information about how the Voucher Homeownership Program has been designed and implemented in different parts of the country, the characteristics of program purchasers and properties purchased, and the local factors that affect program implementation.
HUD contracted with Abt Associates Inc. in 2001 to describe the early implementation of the voucher homeownership program and to provide insight into aspects of the program that are working well and those that are problematic. The study examines how the program has been designed and implemented in different parts of the country, the characteristics of program purchasers and properties purchased, and the local factors that affect program implementation. The study also provides practical information to PHAs that may be interested in offering the voucher homeownership program.
This study is the first assessment of the program at this early stage of its implementation. The study focuses on program implementation in 12 locations across the country:
• Bernalillo County, NM
• Colorado (state program)
• Danville, VA
• Green Bay, WI
• Milwaukee, WI
• Missoula, MT
• Montgomery County, PA
• Nashville, TN
• San Bernardino, CA
• Syracuse, NY
• Toledo, OH
• Vermont (state program)
The 12 study sites were selected to include both PHAs that are operating their programs without outside resources (beyond the voucher program) to defray the cost of administering the program and PHAs that are offering the program as part of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NR)’s voucher homeownership demonstration. Under the demonstration, as of May 2002, NR has provided funding to 21 of its local NeighborWorks affiliates—community-based organizations that work with low-income homebuyers and homeowners—to partner with PHAs to implement the voucher homeownership program. In fiscal year 2001, Congress provided $5 million to NR to support this initiative. In fiscal year 2002, Congress appropriated an additional $10 million to continue support for these local partnerships.
A second site selection criterion was that at least one family at the site had purchased through the program as of November 2001 when site selection was conducted. After satisfying these two criteria, we selected sites covering a range of program designs, geographic locations, and PHA characteristics. However, the 12 study sites were not intended to be representative of any broader pool of homeownership programs, housing markets, or PHAs.
The study draws on complementary analytical techniques—case studies and cross-site analysis. The study findings are organized into two volumes based on these different modes of analysis. Volume 1 of the report—the Cross-Site Analysis—highlights common themes and patterns across the study sites, including lessons learned from the early implementation of the voucher homeownership program. Volume 2 of the report—the Case Studies—provides a detailed examination of the program at each study site and tells the story of program implementation from the point of view of local program staff, partners, and participants. The case studies discuss in detail the choices made regarding program design—including eligibility and recruitment, financing arrangements, and counseling—as well as the experiences of PHA staff and program participants to date.