Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Evaluation of a Residential Mobility Experiment: Chicago Regional Housing Choice Initiative

Friday, November 13, 2015 : 1:50 PM
Ibis (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Heather Schwartz1, Kata Mihaly1, Breann Gala2 and Christine Klepper3, (1)RAND Corporation, (2)Metropolitan Planning Council, (3)Housing Choice Partners
In 2011, HUD awarded a $1 million implementation grant for a three-year pilot project called Chicago Regional Housing Choice Initiative (CRHCI).  The grant was awarded to a partnership among eight public housing authorities (PHAs) in the greater Chicago metropolitan area to promote upwardly mobile moves for households using tenant- and project-based vouchers.  With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, RAND is conducting a randomized controlled trial evaluation of the tenant-based voucher portion of the CRHCI initiative. From November 2012 – October 2014, the mandatory housing briefings at seven of the PHAs for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipients who wished to move with a voucher were randomly assigned to one of three categories: (1) business-as-usual housing briefings; (2) housing briefings that included an offer of $500 if the HCV tenant leased up in an “opportunity neighborhood” and (3) housing briefings that included an offer of $500 if the HCV tenant leased up in an “opportunity neighborhood” plus free mobility counseling from the local non-profit Housing Choice Partners. Approximately 4,300 individuals attended these housing briefings. We use administrative data from HUD regarding the HCV households’ socio-demographic characteristics and housing locations merged with measures of neighborhood quality from the American Community Survey to examine whether the respective offers of $500 and $500 plus free mobility counseling induced HCV tenants to: (1) move to “opportunity neighborhoods,” (2) move to a neighborhoods with improved quality (e.g., higher median income, lower vacancy rate, etc.), and (3) whether there are differences across subgroups of households in the decision to move to opportunity and higher quality neighborhoods.

Full Paper: