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Dec 22 -- The Office of Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing the collection of information for the Evaluation of Moving to Work Cohort 4 Landlord Incentives and invites public comment to OMB by February 6, 2023. [Comments due 30 days from submission to OMB on January 6, 2023.]

The Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) at the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contracted with Abt Associates (in partnership with the University of Hawai’i) to conduct an evaluation of the Moving to Work, Landlord Incentives cohort. Congress authorized HUD in 2016 to add 100 PHAs to the Moving to Work Demonstration and mandated that HUD use the expansion to test the impact of specific policies intended to improve the efficacy of PHA programs. The Moving to Work Cohort 4 Landlord Incentives will investigate whether offering incentives to landlords to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program will increase the number of participating landlords and improve the lease-up rate of households with a housing choice voucher.

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is tenant-based housing assistance program and is the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) largest rental assistance program. Rather than limiting households to rental units located in specific housing projects, the HCV program lets households use vouchers to find their own housing in the private rental market. For this reason, the HCV program works well only if private market landlords are willing to make their units available to voucher holders. Many public housing agencies (PHAs) struggle to attract and retain landlords in the program, leading to low rates for voucher holders successfully leasing units and other program inefficiencies.

Moving to Work (MTW) is a HUD demonstration program that encourages PHAs to test ways to increase the cost effectiveness of federal housing programs, encourage greater self-sufficiency of households receiving housing assistance, and increase housing choice for low-income families. MTW designation gives PHAs relief from many of the regulations and statutory provisions that apply to HCV and public housing programs. MTW was initially authorized by Congress in 1996, and in 2016, HUD was authorized to expand the Demonstration to an additional 100 PHAs.

In January 2021, HUD published a Request for Applications for the Landlord Incentives Cohort of the MTW Expansion. In this cohort, PHAs will implement incentives for landlords to encourage their participation in the HCV program. In January 2022, HUD announced that twenty-nine (29) PHAs were selected to participate in the Landlord Incentives Cohort. PHAs participating in the Landlord Incentives Cohort must adopt at least two incentives from a menu of nine incentive options. Incentive options include payment standards flexibility, one-time financial incentives (such as signing bonuses and damage reimbursements), and simplified inspections processes. The goals of these incentives are: (1) to increase landlord participation in the HCV program and (2) to increase voucher holder success rates in leasing units in the program.

The Moving to Work Landlord Incentives Evaluation (“Landlord Incentives Evaluation”), led by Abt Associates, will examine how PHAs implement these incentives and how these incentives affect program outcomes. This request relates to primary data to be collected for the Landlord Incentives Evaluation. This supporting statement is the first in a series of OMB submissions that correspond to an array of data collection activities for the evaluation of the Moving to Work, Landlord Incentives cohort. HUD seeks clearance in this submission for:

• Semi-structured interview guides for site visits and telephone interviews with staff from treatment and a subset of comparison PHAs;
• Online surveys to treatment and comparison PHAs; and
• Semi-structured interview guides for site visits with landlords within treatment and a subset of comparison PHA jurisdictions.  

Landlord Incentives Cohort of the MTW Expansion: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/ph/mtw/expansion/landlordincentivescohort
HUD submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202206-2528-005 Click IC List for survey instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-27796
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, the AEA Committee on Economic Statistics offers "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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