Voucher Rent Limits and Housing Choice Sets: The Case of Hud’s Small Area Fair Market Rent Program
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper evaluates the impact of HUD’s SAFMR demonstration program on voucher recipients and rental markets using tenant-level data from HUD in all six sites- Mamaroneck, NY; Laredo, TX; Dallas, TX; Cook County, IL; Long Beach, CA; and Chattanooga, TN. This study identifies whether HUD’s SAFMR program increases a voucher household’s choice set using a series of descriptive statistics and regression models. This paper find little change in the number and types of neighborhoods households access across the demonstration sites, but a more even distribution of voucher households across neighborhoods where there were already voucher households living. The one exception to these findings is Dallas, where households do access more neighborhoods in the initial years of the program. This paper analyzes whether the way voucher rents are calculated increases a voucher household’s choice set and the quality of the neighborhood where they live. In addition, household location choices provide important insight about preferences and the role of neighborhood features in influencing location choices.