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Apr 26 -- The purpose of this proposed information collection is to administer a 12-Year Follow-up Survey with the families that enrolled in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Family Options Study between September 2010 and January 2012. The HUD Office of the Policy Development and Research invites comments on the draft proposal by June 27, 2022.

The Family Options Study is a multi-site experiment designed to test the impacts of different housing and service interventions on homeless families in five key domains: Housing stability, family preservation, adult well-being, child well-being, and self-sufficiency. Both the design and the scale of the study provide a strong basis for conclusions about the relative impacts of the interventions over time, and data collected at two previous points in time, twenty (20) months after random assignment and thirty-seven (37) months after random assignment, yielded powerful evidence regarding the positive impact of providing a non-time-limited housing subsidy to a family experiencing homelessness. It is possible, though, that some effects of the various interventions might change over time or take longer to emerge, particularly for child well-being. Therefore, HUD plans to conduct a follow up survey of study families roughly twelve years after enrollment into the study.

The 12-Year Follow-up Survey will attempt to collect information from three separate samples: (1) The 2,241 heads of household who originally enrolled in the study, (2) a sample of 2,220 young children between the ages of 10-17 who currently reside with the head of households, and (3) a new sample of 1,831 “adult children” who consist of the young adults who were minor children during the base study period, but who have aged into adulthood over the past twelve years.
 
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has invested considerable resources into strategies to address family homelessness. Senate Report 109-109 for the FY2006 Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, HUD, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill directed the Department to focus its energies on families who experience homelessness and to “undertake research to ascertain the impact of various service and housing interventions in ending homelessness for families.” In 2008, HUD launched the Family Options Study, a multi-site experiment designed to test the impacts of different housing and service interventions on families who experience homelessness, in five key domains: housing stability, family preservation, adult well-being, child well-being, and self-sufficiency. The study, conducted by Abt Associates and its partner Vanderbilt University, compared the effect of three active interventions—long-term housing subsidy, community-based rapid re-housing, and project-based transitional housing—to one another and to the usual care available in the study communities.  

From September 2010 through January 2012, 2,282 families (with 5,397 children) across 12 communities enrolled in the Family Options Study after spending at least 7 days in emergency shelter. At the time of enrollment families provided their consent to participate in the study and completed a baseline survey (OMB #2528-0259, Expiration Date: 05/31/2013). The study randomized these 2,282 families to one of four interventions distinguished by the type and duration of housing assistance and supportive services. The research team tracked the families for over three years and administered two follow-up surveys to families during that time period under the same OMB control number; a 20-month followup survey (OMB #2528-0259, Expiration Date: 3/31/2015) and a 37-month followup survey (OMB #2528-0259, Expiration Date: 3/31/2017).  

Both the design and the scale of the study provided a strong basis for conclusions about the relative impacts of the interventions over time. The outcomes measured the 20- and 37 months after enrollment yielded powerful evidence of the positive impact of providing a long-term rent subsidy to a family experiencing homelessness. It is possible, though, that some effects of the various interventions might change over time or take longer to emerge, particularly for child well-being. In 2017, approximately three years after the 37-month data collection had been completed, HUD conducted participant tracking to re-establish contact with the study sample, update the contact information for all participants, collect additional information on key outcomes of interest, and, ultimately, assess the feasibility of future research efforts (OMB #2528-0259, Expiration Date: 8/31/2020). The success of that tracking effort has motivated HUD to pursue a new wave of primary data collection with the study families.

The Information Collection Request (ICR) for the 12-year data collection for the Family Options Study is being submitted to OMB in two phases. The first ICR, submitted to OMB on February 16, 2022, seeks approval for the instruments associated with the first phase of data collection—the Tracking and Reengagement Data Collection phase. OMB approval for that ICR is currently pending. In this second phase, HUD is seeking approval from OMB for the 12-Year Survey Administration phase, which includes three 12-year survey instruments (adult head of household; child; and adult child); the enrollment call script for adult children, and the informed consent materials to be administered to the study families

HUD Family Options Study webpage: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/family_options_study.html
Draft proposal, including survey forms and technical documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/39kuoutk32ccdtd/AAC4lY24OH8QvWrWLG3nANrha?dl=0
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-08847

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