At Home 
is a quarterly
e-newsletter from the Housing & Communities Practice at Abt Associates. Here you'll find the latest research results and 
expert insights about housing and community development issues important to you. 
Spring 2013   

Prominent Housing and Community Development 

Expert to Join Abt Associates

Jeffrey Lubell

Jeffrey Lubell, a nationally recognized housing and community development authority, will join Abt Associates June l as the company's first Director of Housing Initiatives.  In this position, Lubell will provide policy and program expertise to assist policymakers in solving the nation's pressing housing challenges.


Lubell, who comes to Abt from serving as executive director of the Center for Housing Policy (CHP), regularly contributes to "The Home Front," a U.S. News & World Report blog.  

Can States Create a Better Balance between High-Opportunity and Low-Income Locations 
of LIHTC Developments? 

low income housing In her report, "Creating Balance in the Locations of LIHTC Development," recently released by the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, Abt Associates Senior Fellow Jill Khadduri asks why more states aren't considering using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program to encourage the development of affordable housing in high-opportunity neighborhoods.   


Writing that "LIHTC is most valuable when it does things that choice-based housing vouchers cannot do or do as well," Khadduri identifies several examples of states using LIHTC to promote affordable housing development in high-opportunity areas. She also proposes four changes to the federal LIHTC guidelines designed to create a better balance between high-opportunity and low-income locations of LIHTC properties. 

Homeless Assistance Programs Face Constraints, Exclude Many Vulnerable Families, Interim Study Finds


The current system of providing housing assistance to families who become homeless is highly constrained, and homeless programs exclude many families in shelters who need assistance, according to an interim report by Abt Associates that examines four options commonly used within communities to help homeless families. 


The interim report of the Family Options Study, prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is based on the experience of 2,307 families in 12 communities who were homeless between September 2010 and January 2012. Findings include: 

  • Homeless system resources are limited, and project-based models often do not have the flexibility to shift resources to either accommodate surges in demand or conserve resources when demand declines. 
  • Homeless programs have imposed eligibility criteria that appear to exclude many of the families in shelters who need the assistance.

"Building the Bridge to the Future" 

New Video Resource for Homeless Providers Features Best Practices, Personal Stories


Homeless providers who use Emergency Solutions Grants and Continuum of Care programming now have a new resource for improving their homeless assistance 

and prevention programming, thanks to a video developed by Abt Associates for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The 12-minute video, "Building the Bridge to the Future: Lessons Learned from HPRP," offers them a close look at HUD's Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) from two perspectives: program providers and participants. 


In addition to personal stories of people who found or were able to keep a home with the help of HPRP's case management and short-term financial assistance, the video highlights best practices in implementing rapid re-housing programs, coordinated and centralized assessment, and quality data collection using the Homeless Management Information System.

In This Issue
Prominent Housing and Community Development Expert Prepares for New Position at Abt Associates
Can States Create a Better Balance between High-Opportunity and Low-Income Locations of LIHTC Developments?
Homeless Assistance Programs Face Constraints, Exclude Many Vulnerable Families
New Video Resource for Homeless Providers Features Best Practices
What Would the Housing Choice Voucher Program Cost If It Served All of the Neediest Households?

What Would the Housing Choice Voucher Program Cost If It Served All of the Neediest Households?


Families needing assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program often face waiting lists of two years or longer given the limited number of federally funded vouchers.  In support of a recommendation for remedying this situation for the nation's neediest families, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) asked Abt to estimate the costs of serving different subgroups of low-income households under a policy scenario in which the HCV program was open to all members of those subgroups who needed the assistance.


Abt experts Jill Khadduri, Larry Buron, and Bulbul Kaul developed a series of tables to identify the size of the need and calculate the annual costs of the HCV program for different segments of the low-income renter population such as currently unassisted households with extremely low incomes and households in severely or moderately inadequate housing.


The team also modeled these costs over a 10-year period. Finally, Abt's researchers estimated the size of the need and the costs of a flexible emergency rental assistance program that would serve families facing a crisis that could lead to homelessness.


Abt's estimates informed the BPC Housing Commission's recommendations for sweeping changes in federal housing policy, published in February 2013.


See the analysis...

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