Panel Paper: From the Ground up: Using Administrative Records, Nudges, and Regulation to Field a RCT

Friday, November 9, 2018
Madison A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Dena Hassan, D.C. Department of Human Services and Sam Quinney, The Lab @ DC

In December 2017, the District of Columbia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) launched a new rental subsidy, called DC Flex. The program will provide a limited number of subsidies to low-income DC Families for up to 4 years. The subsidy is unique in that recipients are allowed to use as much of it on monthly rent as they need, as long as they do not exceed the $7,200 annual subsidy cap. Program entry requirements are relatively stringent, requiring current housing, connection to the labor force, and past connection to homelessness services. In this project, we use administrative data to conduct outreach to potential program participants in order to maximize the number of eligible applicants who apply to the program. The Lab partnered with DHS to conduct three outreach experiments that test the effect of different outreach message content and outreach method (text message, mailed letter) on the number of eligible applications received, and additional proximal outcomes. Eligible applicants will then form the population for a randomized evaluation of the DC Flex program itself.