Poster Paper: Short-Term Impacts of the HUD First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration on Homebuyer Preparedness, Financial Capability, and Homeownership Sustainability

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Exhibits (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Laura Peck, Shawn Moulton, Debbie Gruenstein Bocian, Donna DeMarco and Nichole Fiore, Abt Associates, Inc.

HUD’s First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration provides experimental evidence on the effectiveness of homebuyer education and counseling services for low-, moderate-, and middle-income prospective first-time homebuyers. From September 2013 to February 2016, the study enrolled and randomized 5,854 prospective first-time homebuyers from 28 large metropolitan areas into control and treatment groups. The treatment groups were offered free access to in-person services only (in-person group education workshops and in-person one-on-one counseling), remote services only (online, internet-based education and telephone-based one-on-one counseling), or their choice of in-person or remote services.

The Short-Term Impact Report provides the first complete examination of impacts on outcomes since study participants enrolled in the First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration. The report’s main objective is to present the short-term impacts of homebuyer education and counseling, both overall and for key subgroups, and by service delivery mode. The report also describes the study sample, the treatment group’s experiences with homeownership education and counseling services, and the sample’s outcomes at 12 to 18 months after study enrollment.

This presentation will describe the study design, methods, and key findings from the Short-Term Impact Report. As of the short-term followup period, we observe mixed evidence of the impact of homebuyer education and counseling, particularly on outcomes in the domains of preparedness and search and financial capability. In addition to evaluating the overall impacts of homebuyer education and counseling on outcomes, the evaluation also examined impacts by service delivery mode to reveal that no one delivery mode consistently outperformed the other. Rather, it appears that each of the two service modes has its own strengths and limitations.

The 2018 Fall APPAM conference included a panel presentation on this intervention’s participation rates and individual characteristics associated with participation. The panel and attendees expressed interest in learning about the demonstration’s short-term impacts, when available. For this reason, we expect that this presentation will be of interest at this year’s APPAM.