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Housing

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Urban Institute researchers monitor and assess housing market trends, affordable housing, homelessness, federal housing assistance, racial disparities and housing discrimination, and community revitalization. We recommended greater regulation and reforms for subprime mortgages before the housing market collapse and continue to follow its effects on families and neighborhoods. Our research informs decisionmakers with neighborhood-level data and evaluations of federal housing programs. Read more.

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The $300 Billion Question: How Should We Budget for Federal Lending Programs? (Research Report)
Donald Marron

Student loans, mortgage guarantees, and other lending programs create special challenges for federal budgeting. Under official budget rules, these programs are projected to bring in $200 billion over the next decade. Under an alternative, favored by many analysts, they appear to lose $100 billion. That $300 billion disparity confuses policy deliberations. In this report, Donald Marron proposes a new budgeting approach, known as expected returns, that would eliminate this confusion. The report critically reviews today’s budgeting approaches, identifies their flaws, and demonstrates how expected returns would improve budgeting for federal lending.

Posted to Web: September 29, 2014Publication Date: September 29, 2014

A Better Way to Budget for Federal Lending Programs (Policy Briefs)
Donald Marron

Policy analysts have long debated how best to budget for student loans, mortgage guarantees, and other federal lending programs. Under official budget rules, these programs appear highly profitable; under an alternative, favored by many analysts, they appear to lose money. That discrepancy confuses policy deliberations. In this brief, Donald Marron proposes a new budgeting approach, known as expected returns, that would eliminate this confusion. Unlike existing approaches, expected returns accurately reports the fiscal effects of lending over time and provides a natural way to distinguish the fiscal gains from bearing financial risk from the subsidies given to borrowers.

Posted to Web: September 29, 2014Publication Date: September 29, 2014

What Happens to Housing Assistance Leavers? (Research Report)
Robin E. Smith, Susan J. Popkin, Taz George, Jennifer Comey

To assess whether federal housing assistance can encourage asset building and self-sufficiency, we need to know why families leave housing assistance and how they fare on their own. As a group, housing assistance leavers appear to be doing better than those still in public housing or receiving rent subsidies; they have higher incomes, are more likely to be married, and live in lower-poverty, safer communities. Dividing the unassisted highlights how those leaving assistance for negative reasons are worse off and how those leaving for positive reasons are struggling. Such findings suggest the need for targeted approaches to support both groups.

Posted to Web: September 22, 2014Publication Date: September 22, 2014

Housing Finance At A Glance: A Monthly Chartbook: September 2014 (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Laurie Goodman, Ellen Seidman, Jim Parrott, Sheryl Pardo, Jun Zhu, Wei Li, Bing Bai, Taz George, Maia Woluchem, Alison Rincon

The September edition of At A Glance, HFPC’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated indicators related to non-agency securitization, regional affordability and access to credit, and the latest GSE risk-sharing deals.

Posted to Web: September 16, 2014Publication Date: September 16, 2014

Examples of Promising Practices for Integrating and Coordinating Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention: Human Services and Health Programs Under the Affordable Care Act (Research Report)
Stan Dorn, Sarah Minton, Erika Huber

States and non-profit organizations have used three approaches to successfully integrate enrollment and retention of health and human services programs: 1. Streamlining one program's eligibility determination based on data from other programs. This approach has helped uninsured children receive and retain health coverage, helped low-income seniors obtain SNAP, and produced state administrative savings. 2. Coordinated administration of multiple programs. Administrative savings resulted when multiple programs integrated their systems for case records, data matching, eligibility rules engines, on-line applications, and benefit payment. 3. Coordinating enrollment. Community colleges exemplify sites for enrolling consumers into multiple health and human services at once.

Posted to Web: September 15, 2014Publication Date: July 21, 2014

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