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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

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.

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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.

Econometrica Supports HUD Toolkit Responding to Education Challenges From COVID-19

COVID-19 has impacted the nation in many ways, including children’s education. As schools get set to reopen this fall, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a toolkit aimed at strengthening families and students living in HUD-assisted housing during the pandemic.

From August 2020 to March 2021, Econometrica supported HUD in a series of COVID-19 education peer exchanges. A key outcome from this series is Supporting Our Kids’ Education: Tools to Strengthen Resident Families & Students During COVID-19 & Beyond, a toolkit for public housing agencies and their community partners that responds to the educational challenges experienced by families and children during the pandemic.

The toolkit was developed by HUD’s Office of Choice Neighborhoods in partnership with grantees and expert consultants from Econometrica to provide case studies, ready-to-use family flyers, and a wealth of evidence-based resource links. Topics include:

  • Addressing learning loss.
  • Strengthening families’ ability to support their children’s learning.
  • Developing high-quality out-of-school time programming and tutoring.
  • Establishing learning hubs.

The toolkit highlights open source, research-based tools and resources as well as promising practice case studies that equip housing authorities and their partners to provide targeted educational services and strengthen the ability of families to support their children’s learning.

HUD focused on education because “COVID-19 has exacerbated the stark disparities between low-income housing residents and their higher-income peers.”

“With remote and hybrid learning, children living in public housing and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-assisted housing often face a variety of hurdles, from increased food insecurity and spotty internet service to challenges with student engagement and disruptions in specialized education supports.”

“With remote and hybrid learning, children living in public housing and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-assisted housing often face a variety of hurdles, from increased food insecurity and spotty internet service to challenges with student engagement and disruptions in specialized education supports.”

Press Contact

Jonathan Fusfield