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October 3, 2023

PD&R 50th Anniversary Reunion

PD&R alumni and current staff gathered to celebrate PD&R's 50th anniversary.

On September 15th, we celebrated PD&R's 50th Anniversary by bringing together the people of PD&R. Those joining us in the Brooke-Mondale auditorium of HUD Headquarters in Washington, D.C. included 10 former Assistant Secretaries, more than 60 alumni, and most of our current staff.

The event celebrated the work of the people of PD&R over the decades and shared lessons from our past to deepen our impact and set the tone for the next 50 years.

Todd M. Richardson.
Todd M. Richardson, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.

It was a lot of fun. This message invites you to join the fun.

The video of the event includes our brief conversations with each of the former Assistant Secretaries. Those conversations were both informative and highly entertaining. Among many great stories, PD&R's first Assistant Secretary Michael Moskow talked about PD&R's large budget in the early 1970s; Secretary Shalala shared the different working styles of Secretary Patricia Harris and Secretary Moon Landrieu during the Carter years; and Steve Savas shared how Ronald Reagan came to support expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program.

For fun, we also had a trivia game, which is at the heart of this post.

In February, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for PD&R Solomon Greene introduced the PD&R@50 essay series in a PD&R Edge post. Since then, we have posted 16 articles written by current and former staff on PD&R’s role supporting the mission of HUD over the last 50 years. You can find the articles here. At the reunion, we used the articles as our source for a PD&R trivia game. We had three teams for the trivia game, representing the most important part of PD&R — our people. The three teams were (1) the former Assistant Secretaries, (2) alumni, and (3) current staff.

The former Assistant Secretaries (see what they did in PD&R in this article) in attendance and on team (1) were:

  • Michael Moskow, currently Vice Chairman and Distinguished Fellow on the Global Economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Moskow served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R, the office’s first Assistant Secretary, from 1973 to 1975. After PD&R, he was President of the Chicago Federal Reserve Board, among other accomplishments.

  • Donna Shalala, who served in the Carter and Clinton administrations and the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1993 to 2001, Dr. Shalala served as the 18th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Shalala served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 1977 to 1980.

  • E.S. (Steve) Savas, a Presidential Professor at Baruch College. Savas served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 1981 to 1983.

  • Xavier de Souza Briggs, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Briggs served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for PD&R in 1998.

  • Susan M. Wachter, the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Wachter served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 1999 to 2001.

  • Dennis C. Shea, the Executive Director of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing Policy. Shea served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 2004 to 2005.

  • Raphael Bostic, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Bostic served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 2009 to 2012.

  • Erika Poethig, Executive Vice President for Strategy and Planning at the Civic Committee and Commercial Club of Chicago. Poethig served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for PD&R in 2013.

  • Katherine M. O’Regan, Professor of Public Policy and Planning at NYU Wagner. O’Regan served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 2014 to 2017.

  • Seth D. Appleton, President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI). Appleton served as the Assistant Secretary for PD&R from 2019 to 2020.

On team (2) were alumni Jill Khadduri (in PD&R from 1973 to 2000), Larry Thompson (1989 to 2002), Keith Fudge (2009 to 2016), Courtney Jones (2014 to 2017), and Shawn Bucholtz (2010 to 2020).

On team (3) were current staff Peter Kahn (started in PD&R in 2005), Greg Miller (2022), Alex Din (2019), Jacquie Bachand (2019), Joe Downes (2020), Paul Joice (2007), Leah Lozier (2014), and Richard Duckworth (2020).

The prize: PD&R socks (note, these were not purchased with federal funds).

It was a highly competitive game. HUD’s Statistical Official (and Deputy Assistant Secretary for PD&R's Office of Economic Affairs) Kurt Usowski kept score. The winner? It was a 3-way tie (true!). Everyone got socks.

Now, reader, you get to test your knowledge. Here are the questions — how would you do? (Answers at the end).

Question 1 (joke question): Based on the photographs of Assistant Secretaries in HUD headquarters room 8202, under which Assistant Secretary would you assume color photography was invented?

Question 2: Based on the A Short History of PD&R article, what were the two primary HUD offices combined in 1973 to create the office of PD&R?

Question 3: Based on the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance article, what were the three experiments of the Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP) — just titles?

Question 4: From the same article, roughly how much did EHAP cost unadjusted for inflation?

Question 5: From the article Prequel to PD&R, Dwight Ink recruited Harold Finger from NASA to come over to HUD to be the first and only Assistant Secretary for the Office of Research and Technology. What was the major demonstration HUD Secretary George Romney wanted Assistant Secretary Finger to run?

Question 6: From the article History of the Economic and Market Analysis Division (EMAD): Part 1 (1934-1999), the methodology book used by our field economists is titled “FHA Techniques of Housing Market Analysis,” first published in 1964. What other name is the book called?

Question 7: From the same article, the Field Economists have bounced around between offices that they reported to at HUD, eventually landing in Field Policy Management with a dotted line to PD&R starting in 1976. In what year did the Field Economists officially become part of PD&R?

Question 8: From HUD’s Fair Market Rents and Income Limits, when Fair Market Rents (FMRs) were initiated in 1975, at what percentile of the rent distribution for recent movers were they set (they are currently set at the 40th percentile)?

Question 9: From the same article, in 2011, where did HUD first pilot ZIP Code-based Small Area FMRs?

Question 10: From the article Neighborhood Mobility: The Path Toward Community Choice, what was the biggest positive non-housing impact the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) Demonstration showed moving to low poverty had on adult heads of households?

Question 11: From the article Fifty Years of Formula Fairness, each of the four authors, Harold Bunce, Todd Richardson, Rob Collinson, and Greg Miller, have written reports on the CDBG formula. So far, which of them  has had their research lead to a changed CDBG formula?

Question 12: From the article The Importance of Demonstration Projects to the Mission of PD&R, what does the demonstration acronym IWISH stand for?

Question 13: From the same article, what is IWISH studying?

Question 14: From the article Fifty Years of Geospatial Data Analysis and Technology, in the 1990s, for what program were the economic affairs staff given highlighters and told to color by numbers on Census tract maps?

Question 15: From the article The FHA TOTAL Mortgage Algorithm: Providing Machine-Learning Analysis for Two Decades, what is the name of the Act that PD&R tests total for compliance with?

Question 16: From the article The History of the AHS – 1973 – 2023, the AHS was not always called the American Housing Survey. What was it called before 1982?

Question 17: From the article The Evolving Federal Role in Community Development, what does the acronym “SC2” stand for?

Question 18: From the article Fifty Years of Efforts to Reduce Regulatory Barriers, in what years did PD&R contribute a report showing how changes to local land use regulations could reduce the cost of housing: 1974, 1982, 1992, 2005, 2016, 2021, or all of the above?

Question 19: From the article 50 Years of PD&R’s Gentrification Research, PD&R’s work looking at displacement dates back to 1975 research funding for the Real Estate Research Corporation led by Anthony Downs at the time. Fast forward to 2016 and a Research Symposium on Gentrification and Neighborhood Change, which was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Minneapolis, the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, and HUD. Here is the question: In what research journal were the symposium papers published? 

Check your answers below. How did you do? Send me a note at Todd.M.Richardson@HUD.GOV if you got all 19 correct!

We will add several more articles on PD&R’s work, past and present, during the rest of the year. There is an old saying, “If you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen.” PD&R is the keeper of HUD’s history; this series of articles tells the story of PD&R’s role in that history.


Answer 1: Darlene Williams. I’m not sure why, but the photos were black and white through the mid-2000s, and then we began using color photos.

Answer 2: The Office of Research and Technology and the Deputy Under Secretary for Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation. Although Michael Moskow was the first Assistant Secretary of PD&R, in the HUD headquarters conference room 8202, the first photo is of Harold Finger, the first and only Assistant Secretary of the Office of Research and Technology. Charles Orlebeke had headed the Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation operations before the merger left in 1973 but returned to be PD&R’s second Assistant Secretary after Michael Moskow.

Answer 3: The Supply Experiment, the Demand Experiment, and the Administrative Agencies Experiment. EHAP is the predecessor to what we now know as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. EHAP ran from 1970 to 1981. Since then, PD&R and the program office team have continued to work together every day to keep the HCV program working and improving.

Answer 4: More than $150 million — in 1970s dollars! This included the subsidy payments and administration costs.

Answer 5: Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough largely ran from 1969 to 1974 with the goal of facilitating factory-built construction in housing. One product that came out of Operation Breakthrough was the performance-based HUD Code for manufactured housing. We have some current research looking at Operation Breakthrough’s legacy because maybe now is the right time for us to build off what we learned.

Answer 6: The Green Book.

Answer 7: 1999.

Answer 8: 50th percentile. This is regulatory, and in 1982, it was lowered to the 45th percentile; in 1995 to the 40th percentile. In both cases, this was to reduce the cost of the then Section 8 Certificate program.

Answer 9: Dallas. Small Area FMRs are now required in certain housing markets by regulation.

Answer 10: B. Improved health, notably improved mental health and reduced diabetes. MTO also showed economic benefits for young children as they became adults — a lesson we are putting into action today with the Community Choice Demonstration.

Answer 11: Harold Bunce. Harold’s formula for CDBG from 1976 is still at work today. Beyond Harold’s impact, the most important impact of PD&R’s CDBG formula research is that it trained multiple generations of PD&R staff on how to think about designing effective funding formulas and, as such, informed many allocation formulas developed for other HUD programs and supplemental appropriations.

Answer 12: Integrated Wellness in Supportive Housing demonstration.

Answer 13: The impact of having a part-time nurse in elderly housing. This study, like several other great studies we’ve done, showed the intervention did not have the intended impact. That is hard medicine to deliver, but it is an important part of what PD&R does. Many PD&R studies have shown interventions with a big impact, including the Family Options research that shows how we can end family homelessness.

Answer 14: Secretary Jack Kemp’s Enterprise Zones.

Answer 15: Equal Credit Opportunity Act. PD&R also seeks specifications that affirmatively increase underserved populations’ access to credit.

Answer 16: Annual Housing Survey. It was conducted annually from 1973 to 1981. One unique feature of the AHS is that it is a panel survey of homes. We go back every 2 years to the same homes for 15 to 30 years so we can see what happens to homes over time. New samples for the AHS have been taken in 1973, 1985, and 2015. The next new sample will be in 2025. The AHS supports signature publications like Worst Case Housing Needs and the Components of Inventory Change (CINCH) reports.

Answer 17: Strong Cities Strong Communities, a White House initiative run by PD&R and led by Erika Poethig and Mark Linton that sought to coordinate federal efforts to improve the effect of federal investment in distressed communities that wanted the help.

Answer 18: All of the above.

Answer 19: Cityscape. Cityscape is a great journal started by Assistant Secretary Mike Stegman in 1994 and for a long time guided by current staff Mark Shroder and Michelle Matuga.

Former and current PD&R leadership shared their insights from their time in
PD&R. Front row: Seth D. Appleton, Dennis C. Shea, Susan M. Wachter, HUD Deputy
Secretary Adrianne Todman, Xavier de Souza Briggs, Michael Moskow, E.S. (Steve)
Savas, and PD&R General Deputy Assistant Secretary Todd Richardson. Back row:
Raphael Bostic, Erika Poethig, Katherine M. O'Regan, Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary Solomon Greene, and Donna Shalala.

Former and current PD&R leadership shared their insights from their time in PD&R. Front row: Seth D. Appleton, Dennis C. Shea, Susan M. Wachter, HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman, Xavier de Souza Briggs, Michael Moskow, E.S. (Steve) Savas, and PD&R General Deputy Assistant Secretary Todd Richardson. Back row: Raphael Bostic, Erika Poethig, Katherine M. O'Regan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Solomon Greene, and Donna Shalala.
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