Panel: Low Income Homeownership: Estimating Policy and Program Impacts
(Housing and Community Development)

Saturday, November 4, 2017: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Wright (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Stephanie Moulton, The Ohio State University
Panel Chairs:  Erik Anders Hembre, University of Illinois, Chicago
Discussants:  Jonathan Spader, Abt Associates, Inc. and Hamilton Fout, Fannie Mae

An Evaluation of State Housing Finance Agency Loan Performance
Stephanie Moulton1, Matthew Record1 and Erik Anders Hembre2, (1)The Ohio State University, (2)University of Illinois, Chicago

Housing Volatility Among the Cohort of Head Start Families in Michigan SEED
Trina Shanks and Anne Blumenthal, University of Michigan

The Community Advantage Panel Survey: Announcing a Version for Public Use
Sarah Riley and Roberto Quercia, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Homeownership has long been a cornerstone of federal policy in the U.S. While the largest federal expenditure for housing is the mortgage interest tax deduction that primarily benefits higher income households, there are a variety of federal, state and private initiatives to support homeownership for low-income households.  Research on the effectiveness of these initiatives is often mixed, and depends in large part on the timing of the evaluation (e.g., before, during or after the housing boom and bust) and the criteria used to evaluate outcomes (e.g., mortgage delinquency default or other indicators of housing stability or household well-being).  Understanding the impacts of low income homeownership policies and programs thus requires longitudinal data that includes multiple indicators of diverse outcome measures.  In addition, such evaluations benefit from a qualitative understanding of the nature of the intervention and the intended logic that links the intervention to expected outcomes. In essence, in line with the theme of the 2017 APPAM conference, “measurement matters.”  


The studies included in this panel combine these important attributes to contribute to more nuanced understanding of policies impacting low income homeowners.  The papers cover the lifecycle of homeownership, beginning with savings accounts for children (SEED accounts) that were expected to lead to better long term asset building opportunities including homeownership, affordable mortgage programs designed to enable access to homeownership (through state housing finance agencies and affordable lending collaboratives such as North Carolina’s Community Advantage Program), and a nationwide foreclosure prevention program targeting homeowners who experienced job loss. Each of the papers employs longitudinal data, and supplements traditional measures of mortgage delinquency and default with a more nuanced understanding of program impacts through in-depth qualitative interviews, survey information or a rich contextual understanding of the program design.  Combined, these papers provide a more holistic picture of the impacts of low income homeownership policies and programs.

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