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Housing Policy & Research

Econometrica has decades of experience evaluating housing policy at the federal and local levels. Our staff members have expertise in housing, community development, and economic analysis. Econometrica’s housing policy and research projects have included program evaluation, research design, sample development, questionnaire development, interviews, usability studies, statistical modeling and analysis, and more.

Program Evaluation

Econometrica conducted the first evaluation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to examine the opportunities RAD creates for public housing authorities (PHA) to improve the physical and financial condition of public housing by converting to Section 8 assisted housing. This evaluation used a quasi-experimental research design, analysis of HUD administrative data, and collection and analysis of primary data through interviews and surveys of PHA staff and residents, physical condition assessments, and project financial statements.

Econometrica is continuing to evaluate the RAD program. One current study looks at the RAD Choice Mobility option on property outcomes, tenant outcomes, and the voucher program. A second study examines the long-term preservation and financial viability of RAD properties A third study is evaluating asset management under RAD compared to the standard model of professional asset management.

Policy Implementation and Communication

Econometrica assists HUD’s partners in understanding and implementing housing and community development policy as it evolves. Econometrica developed factsheets, a guidebook, webinars, and a digital resource library that HUD made available to PHAs as resources they could use to implement HUD’s smoke-free policy for public housing. One factsheet for PHA staff provided an implementation timeline for the new policy with a smoke-free policy checklist. Additional factsheets, Preparing for Your Smoke-Free Home and Information for Residents, communicated guidance to public housing residents. Econometrica’s developed a guidebook that serves as a comprehensive resource guide to assist PHAs in implementing smoke-free policies for their agency.

Based on these and other materials, Econometrica developed training and communication materials for PHA staff in support of the implementation of the smoke-free rule. These materials were used in webinars and made available in a digital resource library.

American Housing Survey (AHS)

Econometrica has been supporting the AHS for nearly two decades. The AHS, sponsored by HUD and conducted in odd-numbered years by the U.S. Census Bureau, provides information on the current state of housing inventory and the characteristics of its occupants. Our support enables the government to provide timely and accurate updates to housing researchers and policymakers on a database of houses and households that is widely recognized resource on the condition of housing in the United States. Econometrica also has prepared special analyses of AHS data, such as the following reports published by HUD:

  • Characteristics of HUD-Assisted Renters and their Units (2015, 2017 and 2019).
  • Components of Inventory Change and Rental Dynamics (National Report and Metro Reports for Detroit and Houston).

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