Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
From 1999 to 2006, Abt Associates conducted an experimental evaluation of the Welfare to Work Voucher Program for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The evaluation “Effects of Housing Vouchers on Welfare Families,” measured the impact of housing assistance for low-income families eligible for, or receiving, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The study featured random assignment of vouchers to 8,700 eligible program participants in six study sites across the U.S., longitudinal tracking of sample members over a five-year period and measurement of the effects of vouchers on the following:
The study found that vouchers significantly reduced homelessness, housing crowding, household size, and the incidence of living with relatives or friends. Vouchers had no effect on marriage or cohabitation. Vouchers increased housing mobility, while reducing the number of subsequent moves, and resulted in small improvements to neighborhood quality. The study also found that having and using a voucher reduced employment rates and the amounts of earnings in the first year or two after random assignment. However, the small negative impact of vouchers disappeared over time, and vouchers had no significant impact on employment and earnings over three and half years of follow up.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.