Econometrica to Support HUD’s Grantees

Econometrica to Support HUD’s Grantees

Econometrica awarded 2017 Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Cooperative Agreements

Bethesda, MD, January, 2018

Econometrica, Inc., was recently awarded two cooperative agreements by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fund technical assistance activities assigned by HUD. Econometrica, with a team of expert partners, responded to HUD’s Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for fiscal year 2017. This annual NOFA competition usually attracts dozens of submissions from firms and organizations across the country; Econometrica is excited to be once again among those selected.

Econometrica will be able to provide technical assistance to troubled housing authorities as part of the 2017 Community Compass Receivership cooperative agreement. Econometrica will support capacity-building activities at housing authorities to help move those authorities out of troubled or receivership status and to help “at risk” authorities avoid further declines  in their status. Econometrica also received funding to assist with other technical assistance activities, including support to the Choice Neighborhoods program, a Community Development Block Grant local income survey effort, and assistance to HUD’s Community Planning and Development grantees.

Econometrica’s Housing and Community Development staff look forward to continuing to work with HUD by helping to support HUD’s grantees across the nation with various programs and cross-cutting federal requirements.

“Econometrica is honored to support HUD in helping promote affordable housing, local communities and people with housing needs,” said Dennis Stout, Econometrica’s Director of Housing and Community Development.

About Econometrica:
Founded in 1998, Econometrica is a research and management organization in Bethesda, MD, established to provide public- and private-sector clients with customized program support services. Econometrica works with multiple agencies to provide high-quality, cost-effective analyses, modeling, and economic evaluations. The company consistently receives exceptional scores from its clients and believes in three principles: technical capabilities, happy customers and business development.

Econometrica will be able to provide technical assistance to troubled housing authorities as part of the 2017 Community Compass Receivership cooperative agreement.

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Our Inaugural Housing and Community Development Contract Awarded in 2002

Our Inaugural Housing and Community Development Contract Awarded in 2002

In 2002, Econometrica was awarded its first-ever contract from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The contract originated in the Office of Policy Development and Research, and the work was an evaluation of the HUD Mark-To-Market (M2M) program—a program designed to address the rapidly increasing costs in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured stock that is supported by Section 8 (also known as project-based) assistance. In many cases, these Section 8 contracts provide for rents above local market levels. The M2M program brings rents down to market levels while simultaneously preserving low-income housing affordability by allowing HUD to reduce the Section 8 rents to market levels and reduce the FHA mortgage on the property, if necessary, to a level that lower rents can support. The program’s goals are thus to preserve low-income rental housing affordability while reducing the long-term costs of federal rental assistance and minimizing the adverse effect on the FHA insurance funds. The program also aims to establish a network of locally based entities to administer the program.

The objective of Econometrica’s study was to evaluate the implementation of the M2M program to date in terms of cost effectiveness and participant and resident satisfaction.

Our study included three primary analysis activities: (1) a Process Analysis of the administrative mechanisms implementing the M2M program; (2) a Retrospective Statistical Analysis of trends in participation levels, estimates of savings to the government resulting from the program, measures of program efficiency, and preliminary indications of program outcomes; and (3) a Prospective Analysis case study to document the restructuring process for 15 properties undergoing restructuring in 2003.

Econometrica successfully met its commitments under this contract, and HUD accepted our final report for publication. This inaugural HUD contract has led to many more contracts in the ensuing years; we currently count more than 60 contracts and cooperative agreements awarded by HUD and several others related to HUD programs and regulations awarded by state and local governments. Incidentally, the HUD official who oversaw this pivotal project, Dr. Jennifer Stoloff, is also now a full-time Econometrica employee!

The evaluation report is available online at https://www.huduser.gov/portal//Publications/pdf/M2MEva.pdf. You may also learn more about the M2M program at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/mfh/presrv/presmfh/aboutm2m.

The objective of Econometrica’s study was to evaluate the implementation of the M2M program to date in terms of cost effectiveness and participant and resident satisfaction.

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Largest Geographic Span of Site Visits for the Housing and Community Development Group

Largest Geographic Span of Site Visits for the Housing and Community Development Group

Over an 18-month period during 2009–2010, Econometrica’s Housing and Community Development group provided technical assistance (TA) services on site at more than 70 cities located in 32 states and 3 U.S. territories. This TA was provided in support of a then-new requirement that mandated public housing authorities (PHAs) of a certain size implement a new form of accounting and budgeting known as project-based accounting. PHAs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also referred to this as “asset management.”

HUD contracted Econometrica to provide these support services, including direct TA and group learning (training) across the HUD portfolio of housing agencies, which includes more than 3,500 PHAs. HUD Field Offices, a group of PHAs with similar needs, or an individual PHA could request TA from the project’s Government Technical Monitor.

Econometrica received a total of 81 Statements of Need (HUD-approved requests) during the 18-month period of performance, resulting in 60 onsite TA visits, 1 instance of remote direct TA, 8 TA workshops, 4 TA workshops combined with direct onsite TA visits, and 8 eventual cancellations of requests. More than 675 people attended the training workshops.

The scope of assistance provided ranged from 40 hours of assistance in several places—including Salina, KS; Calexico, CA; and Allegheny County, PA—and 520 hours of assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most assignments averaged 80 to 160 hours of assistance. The size of PHAs served by the TA efforts also ranged from small portfolios, such as 98 units of low-rent public housing in the Monticello Housing Authority (NY), to much larger stock, such as 2,800 units of low-rent public housing in the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority portfolio.

Econometrica completed these requests by relying on 22 subject matter experts among its own staff members as well as 2 subcontractor firms and 11 independent consultants. Econometrica’s Project Manager, Doray Sitko, remotely managed these personnel, who were located in geographically disparate locations across the United States. Then-Director Charles Hanson supervised her.

This was and remains to date the largest geographic span of any Housing and Community Development project in which Econometrica has ever held the prime contractor role. During the 18 months of the project, Econometrica not only coordinated the logistics of all site visits but also prepared curricula, developed a TA plan and report for every assignment, and otherwise successfully managed this nearly $3 million project. We are very proud of the assistance the Econometrica Team was able to provide and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of field work in so many locales.

HUD contracted Econometrica to provide these support services, including direct TA and group learning (training) across the HUD portfolio of housing agencies, which includes more than 3,500 PHAs. HUD Field Offices, a group of PHAs with similar needs, or an individual PHA could request TA from the project’s Government Technical Monitor.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Impact on Fair Housing in the United States

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Impact on Fair Housing in the United States

Since 1986, the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been observed as a federal holiday by the federal government. According to the King Center, “The King holiday is celebrated in U.S. installations and is observed by local groups in more than 100 other nations. The King Holiday should highlight remembrance and celebration and should encourage people everywhere to reflect on the principles of nonviolent social change and racial equality as espoused by Martin Luther King, Jr. It should be a day of community and humanitarian service, and interracial cooperation.[1]

Dr. King’s legacy also has ties to the U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968. The following is an excerpt that chronicles the impact of the assassination of Dr. King on the eventual passage of the Housing Act.

The 1968 act expanded on previous acts and prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, (and as amended) handicap and family status. Title VIII of the Act is also known as the Fair Housing Act (of 1968).

 

The enactment of the federal Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968 came only after a long and difficult journey. From 1966-1967, Congress regularly considered the fair housing bill, but failed to garner a strong enough majority for its passage. However, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson utilized this national tragedy to urge for the bill’s speedy Congressional approval. Since the 1966 open housing marches in Chicago, Dr. King’s name had been closely associated with the fair housing legislation. President Johnson viewed the Act as a fitting memorial to the man’s life work, and wished to have the Act passed prior to Dr. King’s funeral in Atlanta.

 

With the cities rioting after Dr. King’s assassination, and destruction mounting in every part of the United States, the words of President Johnson and Congressional leaders rang the Bell of Reason for the House of Representatives, who subsequently passed the Fair Housing Act. Without debate, the Senate followed the House in its passage of the Act, which President Johnson then signed into law.[2]

Econometrica observes the King Holiday and is proud to support federal, state, and local projects that celebrate and acknowledge his legacy, including efforts related to fair housing. To learn more about the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, please visit their website https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp.

[1] http://www.thekingcenter.org/making-king-holiday

[2] https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/aboutfheo/history

Econometrica observes the King Holiday and is proud to support federal, state, and local projects that celebrate and acknowledge his legacy, including efforts related to fair housing.

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Econometrica Celebrates Earth Day!

Econometrica is pleased to continue our 20-year anniversary celebration with donations to two organizations that will plant trees on parklands.

Building Meaningful Partnerships

Econometrica held its 2018 Partner Day on April 5 to connect partners to each other and to show our partners the services we offer.

2017 National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

2017 National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

Annually, in conjunction with the winter solstice, the National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Consumer Advisory Board, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council recognize those who have died homeless in the preceding year. The 2017 National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day will take place on Thursday, December 21.

Econometrica is a technical assistance provider and research organization that delivers professional services to federal, state, and local governments, as well as to nonprofit and quasi-governmental organizations. Throughout the years, we have supported research inquiries[1][2][3][4] that included homelessness as a topic, and we have provided referrals to specific homelessness-related technical assistance to some of the grantees we assist. We also have staff members who have donated their time in the annual Point in Time count, for which they have helped identify and account for sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a given night in January. This annual count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Continuums of Care.

The work we do, especially as it relates to public and affordable housing as well as health, demonstrates our commitment to understanding, reducing, and eliminating homelessness in the United States. On the occasion of the 2017 National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, we pause to pay respects to those lives lost, and we reaffirm our efforts to provide services that work toward preventing future such deaths.

[1] https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/ahs/2010_high_rent_burdens_v2.pdf

[2] https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/housing-needs-native-hawaiians.html

[3] https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/HNAIHousingNeeds.html

[4] https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/NAHSG-UrbanStudy.html

The 2017 National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day will take place on Thursday, December 21.

View Related Posts

Econometrica Celebrates Earth Day!

Econometrica is pleased to continue our 20-year anniversary celebration with donations to two organizations that will plant trees on parklands.

Building Meaningful Partnerships

Econometrica held its 2018 Partner Day on April 5 to connect partners to each other and to show our partners the services we offer.