HUD Study Examines Long-Term Trajectories for Former HUD-Assisted Households with Children

Date Published: 
March 26th, 2024

A newly published HUD study examined housing trajectories of family households with children who leave HUD’s Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs, specifically focusing on housing tenure, housing stability, and neighborhood attainment. The findings suggest that when people move out of public housing, they are generally moving to new neighborhoods that have lower poverty rates than the neighborhood in which the public housing is located; however, for voucher tenants leaving housing assistance, their unassisted units are generally in neighborhoods with a similar poverty rate to the neighborhood where they were receiving assistance.

This study’s goal of understanding whether exiting housing assistance leads to changes in neighborhood poverty exposures and housing stability for families with children has important implications for the administration of HUD programs and housing policy.

The study was restricted to exited HUD-assisted households with children in 14 U.S. counties. Using HUD administrative data linked with annual residential address and tenure data from Infogroup, the researcher aimed to answer three research questions:

  • What factors influence whether a family exiting HUD-assisted housing transitions into sustainable homeownership?
  • Does an exit from HUD-subsidized housing lead to subsequent housing instability, and which types of households experience higher rates of residential moves?
  • Do families who leave HUD-assisted housing move to neighborhoods with higher or lower poverty rates? 

The findings from this study indicate that households with children that left public housing assistance saw a significant decline in their neighborhood poverty rate. In contrast, although households that exited the HCV program also experienced decreases in their neighborhood poverty, those decreases were not statistically significant and were smaller in magnitude than the decline in neighborhood poverty that households remaining in HCV housing experienced.

The results relating to homeownership were particularly notable for HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Study findings suggest that, for both public housing and the Housing Choice Voucher program, enrollment and participation in the FSS program boosted the likelihood of homeownership by approximately 25 percent. Overall, this research provides valuable insight into how households fare after exiting HUD-assisted housing. 


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