Panel: The Impact of Subsidized Housing on Family Outcomes
(Housing, Community Development, and Urban Policy)

Saturday, November 10, 2018: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
8212 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Tiffany Manuel, Enterprise Community Partners
Discussants:  Michael Lens, University of California, Los Angeles and Philip M.E. Garboden, Johns Hopkins University

Assisted Housing and Changes in Household Composition
Kristin L. Perkins, Harvard University

Close to five million households in the United States live in rental housing subsidized through programs run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and another two million or so live in other forms of subsidized housing.  A central justification for these housing subsidies is that they provide children and families with a platform for success.  Yet we have little rigorous evidence about whether or how housing subsidies affect child and family well-being.  This panel highlights emerging research about the causal impacts of rental housing subsidies on educational, health, and labor market outcomes, as well as household composition.   The first paper uses a randomized housing wait-list lottery in Miami Dade County to study the effects of housing vouchers and public housing on child outcomes (education, criminal justice involvement and health) and adult outcomes (health and homelessness). The second paper leverages randomized offers of units in newly-built subsidized developments in New York City to study the effects of admission to subsidized developments on children’s educational outcomes. The third paper makes use of the PSID linked to administrative data on housing assistance and a matching design to examine the effects of various types of housing assistance (vouchers, public housing, LIHTC) on household composition. Changes to household composition may directly affect family well-being, but could also be an important channel through which housing assistance impacts other outcomes in areas such education, health or labor market success. Finally, the fourth paper examines the impact of HOPE VI public housing demolition and redevelopment on children’s long-run labor market outcomes.  Together, these papers will provide a clearer understanding of whether and how subsidizing housing can impact the lives of families served by these programs.