Research Roundup: The Latest Industry Reports on the Pandemic’s Effects on HCV Household Income, Voucher Portability, and Emergency Rental Assistance Program Best Practices

Date Published: 
March 10th, 2021

The Effect of COVID-19 on Household Income Among HCV Households. A new report in Cityscape uses HUD administrative data to look at the volume of interim recertification requests at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. According to the report, 553,500 households completed an interim recertification between March-August 2020, and of those households, 32% had experienced a decline in income. Nationally, 5.5% of HCV households who recertified had an experienced an income loss, with significant variation across states. On average, UI receipt among HCV households that recertified made up for approximately 95% of lost wages.

Portability Decisions Among PHAs. In Cityscape, interviews conducted with staff at 51 PHAs about how they navigate the voucher porting process sheds some light on what factors PHAs consider when determining whether to bill the sending agency or absorb the voucher. The authors point to the tradeoffs PHAs must consider, including budgetary constraints, a commitment to serve local residents, and interest in fostering regional mobility opportunities, and how these tradeoffs vary based on local costs.

Best Practices for Emergency Rental Assistance Programs. Researchers from the NYU Furman Center, Housing Initiative at Penn, and the National Low-Income Housing Coalition are collaborating on a series of reports on best practices for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs based on a survey conducted in the fall of 2020 of ERA program administrators. The reports now include: 

  • report reviewing the survey findings and best practices for running an effective ERA program that emerged from the survey results. 

  • report focusing on best practices for ERA programs to advance racial equity in the COVID-19 response, in light of the disproportionate impacts on Black, Latino, and Native American renters. 

  • report of ERA administrator case studies based on follow-up interviews with some of the survey respondents. 

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