Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
- Chair: Davin Reed, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Is America's Housing Affordability Problem a Housing Problem?
AbstractWe document what fraction of the housing stock in US cities is affordable to different family types. Rather than looking at what fraction of their income people actually pay in rent in each city, we look at the extent to which the housing stock is affordable using discrete housing expenditure share cutoffs and the distribution of rents. We find that housing affordability is largely a problem for single-parent families and, to a lesser extent, single-person households. Several of the least affordable cities by our metrics are not glamour cities in the US Northeast, California, or South Florida but rather cities with both low incomes and low rents. Finally, we show how overcrowding in many high-cost cities leads to an understatement of the extent of affordability problems if affordability is measured using the actual share of income paid toward rent.
Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention: A Randomized Controlled Trial
AbstractWe report on a randomized controlled trial comparing two different approaches to homelessness prevention. Between May 2018 and March 2020, we worked with King County, WA to assign 600 families at imminent risk of homelessness to either (1) a combined program of progressive case management and financial assistance relative or (2) flexible financial assistance. Both groups receive $1,000-2,000 of temporary financial assistance, primarily to pay rent, but the first group also receives on-going case management to make and implement a housing stability plan, increase income via employment or public benefits, and manage the emotional challenges of being at risk of homelessness. We measure the effects of this case management on housing stability, as measured by use of homelessness services and housing moves. By summer 2021, we will also link to state administrative records on earnings, healthcare use, public benefit receipt, and arrests.
The Impact of Public Housing on Student Academic Outcomes
AbstractIs public housing bad for children? Critics charge that public housing projects concentrate poverty and create neighborhoods with limited opportunities, including low-quality schools. However, whether the net effect is positive or negative is theoretically ambiguous and likely to depend on the characteristics of the neighborhood and their quality compared to origin neighborhoods. In this paper, we draw on detailed individual-level longitudinal data on students who move into New York City public housing and examine their standardized test scores over time. Exploiting plausibly random variation in the precise timing of entry into public housing, we estimate credibly causal effects of public housing using both difference-in-differences and event study designs. Further, we control for school mobility and estimate the effects on the quality of schools attended, to shed light on potential underlying mechanisms. We find credibly causal evidence of positive effects of moving into public housing. Academic performance stalls in the first year in public housing – due, perhaps, to disruptive effects of residential and school moves – but rises in subsequent years. Effects are larger for public housing in higher-income neighborhoods and for students moving out of lower-income neighborhoods. Exploratory analyses suggest results may be driven by school quality.
- R3 - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location