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HUD Publishes Guidance Materials About Radon

HUD Publishes Guidance Materials About Radon

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published fresh guidance related to radon in housing on the HUD Exchange site.

Econometrica is working with HUD to develop the guidance to raise awareness about the dangers of radon and strategies to reduce exposure. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is a risk factor for lung cancer when it accumulates inside a home. With testing and mitigation, exposure to radon can be reduced to safe levels.

Materials produced so far include a webinar series and infographics. They can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/radon.

Econometrica continues to work with HUD on additional materials on this topic.

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Jonathan Fusfield

New HUD Reports Explore Recent AHS Data

New HUD Reports Explore Recent AHS Data

BETHESDA, MD – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released two new reports about the examining data provided by the American Housing Survey (AHS). The reports, prepared by Econometrica and SP Group, take a deep dive into several aspects of the AHS in recent years.

The AHS, sponsored by HUD and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, provides information on both the current state of housing inventory and the characteristics of its occupants. Econometrica has provided analytic support on the AHS under several contracts with HUD for nearly two decades.

The first report, The Usefulness of the GUTREHB Variable, evaluates the variable GUTREHB, which was added to the AHS in 2015, and identifies its utility and reliability. This variable sought to identify owner-occupied units that had undergone gut rehabilitation within the previous 10 years.

The authors identified three categories into which problems with the variable fall:

  1. Serious inconsistencies in responses undermine user confidence in the response to GUTREHB for a given unit in any specific survey.

  2. The analysis shows that units with positive responses to GUTREHB have higher renovation costs than those with negative responses to GUTREHB, but the observed costs still appear less than expected.

  3. The AHS collects data on several other variables associated with renovation, but the report found that the relationship between GUTREHB and these other variables is weaker than anticipated.

The second report, Characteristics of HUD-Assisted Renters and Their Units in 2019, uses data from a supplemental survey included in the 2019 AHS and administrative data matching to describe key features of both the rental housing assistance that HUD provided and the households that HUD served. The report analyzes how HUD-assisted rental stock has changed over previous three decades and examines the location of HUD-assisted housing, the quality of the units, and tenant satisfaction.

The report showed that HUD-assisted stock is in fairly good condition, with only 2.4 percent of units severely inadequate in 2017, about the same as unassisted units occupied by very low-income renters.

About Econometrica

Econometrica is a research and management organization committed to providing high-quality, cost-effective economic and analytical services for clients in the private and public sectors. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, Econometrica in particular specializes in housing, community development, and economic analysis.

 

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Jonathan Fusfield

HUD Releases Updated FMRs; Econometrica Conducted Surveys for Multiple PHAs

HUD Releases Updated FMRs; Econometrica Conducted Surveys for Multiple PHAs

BETHESDA, MD – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released updated Fair Market Rents (FMRS) for fiscal year 2022 for 12 areas based on new survey data.

The updates, released in the Federal Register on March 10, 2022, come after public housing authorities (PHAs) conducted new surveys. According to HUD, the new FMRs reflect the estimated 40th percentile rent levels.

The Econometrica Team, consisting of Econometrica and M. Davis & Company, conducted surveys and data analysis for 6 of the 12 PHAs with updated FMRs. The team utilized its years of housing and community development experience to provide collection and analysis of data to appeal HUD’s previously proposed FMRs.

FMR values can be found on the HUD USER website.

Source: Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, and Other Programs Fiscal Year 2022; Revised, 87 Fed. Reg. 13744 (March 10, 2022).

About Econometrica

Econometrica is a research and management organization committed to providing high-quality, cost-effective economic and analytical services for clients in the private and public sectors. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, Econometrica in particular specializes in housing, community development, and economic analysis. It has performed FMR survey and related work for more than 15 years and has worked with PHAs for approximately 20 years.

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield

Housing Trust Fund to receive estimated $739.6 million

Housing Trust Fund to receive estimated $739.6 million

Housing Trust Fund to receive estimated $739.6 million
Recent data submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicates the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) will receive an estimated $739.6 million in 2022.

The estimate, based on 10-K forms recently submitted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would be an increase from the $689.7 million in 2021.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities.” Funds are distributed as block grants to states using a formula based on four factors that only consider renter household needs.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to announce total amounts available for the HTF in March.

Fannie Mae’s 10-K can be found at https://www.fanniemae.com/media/42821/display.

Freddie Mac’s 10-K can be found at http://www.freddiemac.com/investors/financials/pdf/10k_021022.pdf.

Report Calls for National Eviction Database to Better Track Trends

House CutoutPolicymakers need reliable data to develop tools and strategies to effectively combat the nation’s eviction epidemic, according to a report exploring the prevalence and impact of evictions.

The report, which appeared in Evidence Matters in summer 2021, found that current eviction data are often incomplete, incorrect, or difficult to compare across geographic areas. Thus, the authors call for the development of a national eviction database.

“Building a national eviction database that aggregates standardized and reliable local data will significantly improve researchers’ ability to understand trends in eviction rates across time and space,” wrote Dana Goplerud and Craig Pollack, both of Johns Hopkins University.

The aim of the database would be to improve the ability to track and understand eviction trends, allowing policymakers to design more effective policies and tools to prevent eviction.

The authors recognize that many evictions happen outside of the court system; thus, they also explain how surveys at the national and local levels would capture information from renters about their experiences.