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November 15, 2022

New HUD PD&R Research Awards Aim to Shed Light on Evictions From HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program

In this column, HUD's Jacquie Bachand discusses research awards made by PD&R’s Office of Research Evaluation and Monitoring in 2022.

Background

Eviction is a systemic issue in the United States that carries severe consequences for the physical and mental health, employability, and housing stability of the individuals and families who experience it. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic disruption, recessionary contraction, and employment losses have put already vulnerable families at increased risk of eviction.

A row of houses.In September 2022, the Office of Research Evaluation and Monitoring awarded two research grants totaling $500,000 to the NYU Furman Center and the Urban Institute for a research project to assess the ability to link data on court-ordered evictions to HUD administrative data, quantify the incidence of evictions, identify characteristics associated with evictions, and recommend a methodology that HUD could use to track evictions through data linkages.

Previous research examining evictions from HUD-assisted housing has focused on assessing evictions from project-based housing, in which the subsidy is tied to a physical unit (including the public housing, multifamily housing, project based rental assistance, Section 811, and Section 202 programs), by linking court-ordered eviction data to data on the addresses of subsidized properties. Few, if any, studies have examined evictions among households in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, in which the assistance is mostly tenant based and the subsidy is tied to the household, by linking court-ordered eviction data with HCV data. The HCV program is HUD’s largest rental assistance program, serving 2.3 million households in 2021.

Research Solicitation

To address this knowledge gap, in May 2022, the Office of Research Evaluation and Monitoring (OREM) in HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) announced the availability of $500,000 for one or more cooperative agreements for a research project titled "Exploring the Feasibility of Linking Eviction Records to Administrative Databases for HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program." This solicitation asked applicants to submit proposals that would assess the ability to link data on court-ordered evictions to HUD administrative data, quantify the incidence of evictions, identify characteristics associated with evictions, and recommend a methodology that HUD could use to track evictions through data linkages.

Awardees

“NYU Furman Center”

In September 2022, PD&R’s OREM was pleased to award research grants totaling $500,000 to New York University’s (NYU’s) Furman Center and the Urban Institute (Urban). Both NYU and Urban have 2-year award periods (September 2022 to September 2024).

NYU Furman Center

Lead Investigators: Ingrid Gould Ellen, Ph.D., and Katherine O’Regan, Ph.D.

Target Research Area: New York City, 58 remaining jurisdictions in New York State, and the city of Philadelphia.

Data
Target Research Area HCV Data Eviction Data Address Data
New York City HUD 50058 New York State OCAa Data PLUTOb Data
New York State (58 Jurisdictions) HUD 50058 New York State OCAa Data New York State Parcel Data
City of Philadelphia HUD 50058 Philadelphia LTC Datac Philadelphia Parcel Data

aOCA = Office of Court Administration. bPLUTO = Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output. cLTC = Landlord-Tenant Court.

Research Objectives

The researchers have three key sets of research questions for voucher holders in their target geography:

  1. Is it feasible to link data for voucher households to eviction records, and what data fields are necessary to enable this linkage?
  2. How does the prevalence of eviction among voucher holders in New York City, New York State, and Philadelphia change over the study period?
  3. How do residential outcomes for voucher holders change after receiving an eviction notice?

“Urban Institute”

The Urban Institute

Lead Investigators: Mark Treskon, Ph.D., Katie Fallon, Ph.D., and Jessica Kelly.

Target Research Area and Data: Urban, with data and policy support from Legal Services Corporation, plans to link and study eviction and HCV administrative data in two states: Indiana and Virginia. Methodologically, both states have strong eviction data but offer different linking challenges: Indiana has robust geographic data, whereas Virginia has limited geographic data but detailed filing cause records.

Research Objectives

The researchers have three key sets of research questions for voucher holders in their target geography:

  1. What is the incidence and relationship of evictions among households receiving HCV assistance before and during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. How do filings vary by the household characteristics of HCV recipients?
  3. How do local policies and local housing markets affect eviction filings for those with housing supports?

Matthew Desmond and Carl Gershenson. 2017. “Who gets evicted? Assessing individual, neighborhood, and network factors,” Social Science Research 62:362–77; Hugo Vásquez-Vera, Laia Palència, Ingrid Magna, Carlos Mena, Jaime Neira, and Carme Borrell. 2017. “The threat of home eviction and its effects on health through the equity lens: a systematic review,” Social science & medicine 175:199–208.

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HUD analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau Week 34 Household Pulse Survey: July 21 – August 2, 2021. The Pulse Survey data are available at: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/household-pulse-survey/data.html.

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