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Boosting Work and Earnings for Housing-Assisted Families Nandita Verma Solutions 2013: National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy September.

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Presentation on theme: "Boosting Work and Earnings for Housing-Assisted Families Nandita Verma Solutions 2013: National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Boosting Work and Earnings for Housing-Assisted Families Nandita Verma Solutions 2013: National Conference on State and Local Housing Policy September 17, 2013

2 MDRC Not-for-profit social policy research organization Based in NYC and Oakland Rigorously evaluates (and sometimes helps design) innovative social policies Pioneered large-scale random assignment evaluations of social programs Mission: Build evidence to improve the lives of low-income families 2

3 Topics Broad issue Helping housing subsidy recipients make progress toward economic security. Making assisted housing a “platform” for interventions to improve work outcomes for low-income families Evidence Jobs-Plus: A place-based employment intervention for residents of public housing Work Rewards: A demonstration for “Housing Choice Voucher” recipients Future work HUD’s National FSS evaluation HUD’s Rent Reform demonstration 3

4 Jobs-Plus Demonstration Target group: Residents of public housing Place-based employment intervention Multi-component, “saturation” strategy 3 components: 1. Employment and training services Convenient on-site “job centers” 2. New rent rules to “make work pay” Rent rises less as earnings grow 3. Community support for work Neighbor-to-neighbor outreach Public and private sponsors : HUD, The Rockefeller Foundation, other public and private funders 4

5 Diverse housing developments in 6 cities: Baltimore Chattanooga Dayton Los Angeles St. Paul Seattle Randomly allocated developments within each city to program and control groups Local partnerships and collaboration: Public housing authorities Welfare agencies Workforce agencies Residents Other service agencies Mandatory partners 5 Jobs-Plus sites

6 Figure pooled 1 Mean Quarterly Earnings for the 1998 Able-Bodied Sample: 3 sites pooled Post-program period Pooled average quarterly earnings, 1998 cohort* (full implementation sites) *1998 cohort – focus of impact analysis

7 Site Avg. per year ( ) Cumulative ( ) Change (%) Pooled$1,300$9,09916% Dayton$984$6,88814% Los Angeles$1,176$8,23315% St. Paul$1,883$13,18119% All results statistically significant 7 Earnings impacts through 7 years (full implementation sites)

8 New York City Now serving 4 public housing developments A key feature of Mayor Bloomberg’s new “Young Men’s Initiative”: Will add up to 7 new Jobs-Plus sites San Antonio, Texas –Operating in public housing developments Obama administration (HUD) –Proposing federal expansion in new budget 8 Replication efforts

9 9 Testing 3 employment interventions for Housing Choice Vouchers recipients 2 NYC housing agencies HPD: Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development NYCHA: New York City Housing Authority Early impact results 30 months for employment & earnings NYC Work Rewards Demonstration

10 10 HPD Sample (Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development) 1. Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program Employment and other service referrals Asset-building (Escrow “savings” accounts) 5-year program 2. FSS + workforce incentives Cash rewards for: ‒Sustained full-time work: $150/month ‒Completed education/training Paid every 2 months over 2 years NYCHA Sample (NYC Housing Authority) 3. Workforce incentives alone The 3 Interventions Do more immediate work incentives “add value” to effects of FSS alone? Does FSS increase work, earnings, other outcomes (vs. control group)? Do workforce incentives alone (“outside of” rent rules) increase work, earnings, other outcomes (vs. control group)?

11 11 Findings from the FSS study

12 HPD Sample Participation and services, 18 Months Outcome (%)FSS-Only Group FSS + Incentives Group Difference (Impact) Orientation *** Case management *** Linked to benefits/work supports ** Began education or job training *** Started employment ** Continuous employment (30 days) *** Any milestone *** 12

13 Program Control 13 Ever employed (%) Average per quarter (%) FSS-Only FSS+Incentives Ever employed (%) Average per quarter (%) HPD sample Impacts on employment, 30 months

14 Program Control Diff: $503 Diff: $550 FSS-OnlyFSS+Incentives 14 Total Earnings HPD sample Impacts on earnings, 30 months

15 FSS-OnlyFSS + Incentives Impact($)Change (%)Impact($)Change (%) Full sample Employment subgroups Not working at baseline +1, ,102**+45.4 Working at baseline , SNAP subgroups Receiving at baseline +2,056* , Not receiving -2,127 † †† 15 HPD sample Impacts on earnings by subgroup, 30 months

16 16 FSS + Incentives FSS-Only Note: Earnings include $0 for non-workers Subgroup: Not working at baseline Incentives end month 24 HPD sample Impacts on employment

17 17 Findings From the Incentives-Only Study (NYCHA SAMPLE)

18 Statistical significance levels: *** = 1 percent; ** = 5 percent; * = 10 percent. 18 Diff: $1,453 Program Control Diff: 3.9** Ever employed (%)Total Earnings (%) NYCHA sample Impacts on employment and earnings, 30 months

19 Incentives-Only Impact ($) Change (%) Full sample +1, Employment subgroups Not working at baseline+1, Working at baseline SNAP subgroups Receiving at baseline +2,711***+18.7 Not receiving-2,186 †† NYCHA sample Subgroup impacts on earnings, 30 months

20 20 Incentives-Only Note: Earnings include $0 for non-workers Subgroup: receiving food stamps at baseline Incentives end month 24 NYCHA sample Impacts on earnings

21 Early NYC test raises cautions about FSS-Only, but… – Longer follow-up to come (results could change) Incentives may matter. Impressive earnings gains for: – Tenants not working at baseline (FSS+Incentives) – Tenants on food stamps at baseline (Incentives-Only) Future reports: Survey analysis, longer-term impacts, and cost-benefit National influence of Work Rewards: – Only available evidence on effects of FSS alone – Shaping HUD’s new national FSS evaluation (benchmark; guide for analysis) – Inspiration for planning a new supplemental test 21 Conclusions and next steps

22 DRAFT – NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION 22 Employment services not always a primary focus Staff more skilled in job placement than advancement coaching; “value added” for working participants unclear Escrow and Section 8 difficult for CBO staff to understand and explain – Escrow marketing not well integrated into service delivery or payment milestones Efforts to leverage existing CBO services and resources not as strong as envisioned Observations on operating FSS

23 23 NEW HUD-FUNDED EVALUATIONS

24 Randomized trial, starting June 2013 FSS-Only vs. Control (N=2,000) Number of housing authorities ~ 20 PHAs in 6 to 8 states Test FSS “as is” Range of programs Opportunity to confirm subgroup patterns observed in NYC Work Rewards 24 HUD’s National FSS Evaluation

25 Design new rent policy for voucher holders to: Promote work and income reporting Simplify rent rules for residents and PHAs Reduce administrative burden for PHAs Stay revenue neutral Randomized trial in 5 PHAs, starting July 2013 Combined sample = 4,000 households: Existing rent rules (30% of income) vs. Alternative rent rules (TBD) 25 HUD’s Rent Reform Demonstration


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