Landlords and Access to Opportunity

73 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2019 Last revised: 2 Dec 2019

See all articles by Dionissi Aliprantis

Dionissi Aliprantis

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Hal Martin

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

David Phillips

Wilson Sheehan Lab for Econonomic Opportunities, Department of Economics

Date Written: November 21, 2019

Abstract

Landlords in high-opportunity neighborhoods screen out tenants using vouchers. In our correspondence experiment, signaling voucher status cuts landlord responses in half. This voucher penalty increases with posted rent and varies little with signals of tenant quality and race. We repeat the experiment after a policy change and test how landlords respond to raising voucher payment limits by $450 per month in high-rent neighborhoods. Most landlords do not change their screening behavior; those who do respond are few and operate at small scale. Our results suggest a successful, systematic policy of moving to opportunity would require more direct engagement with landlords.

Note: First version circulated under the title “Can Landlords Be Paid to Stop Avoiding Voucher Tenants?”.

Keywords: Landlord, Opportunity Neighborhood, Housing Choice Voucher, Mobility, Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR)

JEL Classification: I38, R21, R23, R31, J15, H30

Suggested Citation

Aliprantis, Dionissi and Martin, Hal and Phillips, David, Landlords and Access to Opportunity (November 21, 2019). FRB of Cleveland Working Paper No. 19-02R2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3320770 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3320770

Dionissi Aliprantis (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

Hal Martin

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

David Phillips

Wilson Sheehan Lab for Econonomic Opportunities, Department of Economics ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

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