Encouraging Residential Moves to Opportunity Neighborhoods: An Experiment Testing Incentives Offered to Housing Voucher Recipients

71 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2017

See all articles by Heather Schwartz

Heather Schwartz

RAND Corporation

Kata Mihaly

RAND Corporation

Breann Gala

Metropolitan Planning Council

Date Written: March 4, 2016

Abstract

This study tests whether mobility counseling and cash incentives will affect a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipient’s move to an opportunity area. Opportunity areas are defined as tracks rated 6-10 on a HUD-created index—factoring in poverty, housing stability, job and transit access, school quality, and employment. This move from a non-opportunity neighborhood (ranked 1-5) to an opportunity neighborhood (ranked 6-10) is considered an “opportunity move.” When a HCV recipient requests to move to a new housing unit, they must work with their Public Housing Authority (PHA). Briefings provided by PHAs are part of this process. For this study, 2,005 voucher holders who requested to move were randomly selected to receive one of three interventions to test any effect on moves to opportunity areas:

1. A “business-as-usual” briefing covering basic information about moving with a voucher.

2. A “business-as-usual” briefing and the promise of a $500 grant if voucher holders used their voucher in an opportunity area.

3. A mobility counseling briefing and an offer of a $500 grant if voucher holders used their voucher in an opportunity area.

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Heather and Mihaly, Kata and Gala, Breann, Encouraging Residential Moves to Opportunity Neighborhoods: An Experiment Testing Incentives Offered to Housing Voucher Recipients (March 4, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3055262 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3055262

Heather Schwartz (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Kata Mihaly

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Breann Gala

Metropolitan Planning Council ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States

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