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Counselors or : How Housing
Search Resources Impact HCV
Neighborhood Outcomes
Michael D. Webb, William M. Rohe, and Kirsti...
Housing Search
Utility maximization
• Neoclassical econ
• Search is a fn of personal
preferences and housing
supply
• Enti...
Housing Search & Section 8
• Issues in applying utility maximization to HCV holders:
• Constraints: income, VPS
• LL refus...
HCV search strategies
Counseling
• Longstanding HCV
deconcentration goal
• Counseling: understand
benefits of opportunity
...
HCV Counseling Outcomes
• Knowledge primarily from large, unique projects (HOPE
VI, MTO, Chicago/Atlanta)
• Gautreaux: str...
Research Questions & Hypotheses
• What types of households
were more likely to utilize
particular resources?
• Do particul...
Search resources
Counseling Online Friends/Family Driving
around
Cost
Potentially high:
transportation,
time
Minimal,
assu...
Context and Data
• Survey of 644 HCV
holders in 1H2014
• Demo/SES from survey
and admin data
• Subjective measures:
house/...
Descriptive Statistics
63%
49%
43%
39%
0
200
400
38
201
218
144
42
Zero One Two Three Four
School index: elementary, middle, high
school proficiency; dropout and truancy
rates
Access index: proximity to groceries,...
Advantage index: household income,
house value, homeownership, food
stamps
Safety index: violent crime, property
crime, fi...
Which households were more likely to
utilize counseling?
Measure
Overall
Counsel-
ing
Online
Friends/
Family
Drive
Around
...
What search resources resulted in
better housing outcomes?
Measure
Overall
Counseling
Online
Friends/
Family
Drive
Around
...
Online Resource & Neighborhood
Outcomes
Measure
Alone
Online
Driving
Friends
Alone
Driving
Friends
Home Satisfaction 46% 4...
Findings
• Those who used online
resources fared better
objectively (c.p.)
• No many sig difference
between satisfaction a...
Policy Implications and Future
Research
Policy implications
• Apparent benefit of online
resources
• Aids argument for wif...
Michael D. Webb
mdwebb@unc.edu
919-962-0122
Counselors or Craigslist? Relationships Between Housing Search Resources and Voucher Holders’ Neighborhood Outcomes
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Counselors or Craigslist? Relationships Between Housing Search Resources and Voucher Holders’ Neighborhood Outcomes

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Uses data from a survey of Section residents in Charlotte, NC to examine whether residents who relied on counseling services, websites (like SocialServe and Craigslist), friends or family, or just "driving around" moved to higher-quality neighborhoods.

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Counselors or Craigslist? Relationships Between Housing Search Resources and Voucher Holders’ Neighborhood Outcomes

  1. 1. Counselors or : How Housing Search Resources Impact HCV Neighborhood Outcomes Michael D. Webb, William M. Rohe, and Kirstin P. Frescoln Center for Urban and Regional Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill mdwebb@unc.edu
  2. 2. Housing Search Utility maximization • Neoclassical econ • Search is a fn of personal preferences and housing supply • Entire metro falls within the choice set Awareness space • Subset of a mental map • Housing search is biased and limited within AS • …Often around anchor nodes • Search often in 2-5 neighborhoods
  3. 3. Housing Search & Section 8 • Issues in applying utility maximization to HCV holders: • Constraints: income, VPS • LL refusal • Transportation • Smaller awareness spaces • Draining ties • Need • Time constraints in finding housing • Together, these barriers often result in less-than-desirable housing and neighborhood outcomes
  4. 4. HCV search strategies Counseling • Longstanding HCV deconcentration goal • Counseling: understand benefits of opportunity NBs, find listings • Range of outcomes (see following) Web searches • Users search within a confined band • Little spatial mismatch: a priori limitations • Searchers still limit themselves to <5 areas • Popular: craigslist, GoSection8, SocialServe.com
  5. 5. HCV Counseling Outcomes • Knowledge primarily from large, unique projects (HOPE VI, MTO, Chicago/Atlanta) • Gautreaux: strong counseling + motivated tenants = good outcomes • MTO: many housing searches failed; issues finding subsequent housing w/o counseling • Chicago PFT: no obvious relationship between resources and success of search • HOPE VI: HCV holders fared better than public housing relocatees, but worse than others in poverty
  6. 6. Research Questions & Hypotheses • What types of households were more likely to utilize particular resources? • Do particular housing search resources achieve greater subjective and/or objective housing outcomes? • Counseling will have greater awareness spaces, and more knowledge of opportunity areas • Online resources will have greater awareness spaces, but less knowledge of opportunity areas • Since information is priceless, those utilizing more resources will have better outcomes
  7. 7. Search resources Counseling Online Friends/Family Driving around Cost Potentially high: transportation, time Minimal, assuming internet access Minimal More than minimal Volume Limited but high-quality High Limited, quality varies Varies depending on effort Primary limitation Time-intensive Internet access Potentially v biased Vehicle access
  8. 8. Context and Data • Survey of 644 HCV holders in 1H2014 • Demo/SES from survey and admin data • Subjective measures: house/neighborhood satisfaction; crime prev • Objective measures: four indices thru FA • Methods: t-tests, interviews later
  9. 9. Descriptive Statistics 63% 49% 43% 39% 0 200 400 38 201 218 144 42 Zero One Two Three Four
  10. 10. School index: elementary, middle, high school proficiency; dropout and truancy rates Access index: proximity to groceries, clinics, pharmacies; transit access Dot colors: Both Counseling only Online only Neither
  11. 11. Advantage index: household income, house value, homeownership, food stamps Safety index: violent crime, property crime, fire calls Dot colors: Both Counseling only Online only Neither
  12. 12. Which households were more likely to utilize counseling? Measure Overall Counsel- ing Online Friends/ Family Drive Around Age 49.4 48.9 48.9 50.1 49.3 If Elderly 15% 16% 14% 17% 14% If HOH disabled 38% 40% 36% 34% 36% If other disabled 6% 5% 7% 5% 6% Household size 2.4 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.4 Total income $10,389 $10,213 $10,841 $10,496 $10,538 Wage income $4,469 $4,539 $4,626 $4,489 $4,629 Rent paid $143 $142 $154 $143 $149 If working 30% 31% 31% 31% 31% Education 11.78 11.54 12.09 11.74 11.91 Years with voucher 15.77 18.01 15.86 17.37 19.40 Apartments visited 6.27 6.23 5.86 6.39 6.14 Vehicle ownership 52% 50% 61% 49% 55% Resour ces SESDemo
  13. 13. What search resources resulted in better housing outcomes? Measure Overall Counseling Online Friends/ Family Drive Around Home Satisfaction 46% 45% 49% 48% 48% NB Satisfaction 41% 41% 42% 42% 41% Perception of crime 0.16 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.16 Advantage -0.91 -0.94 -0.84 -0.89 -0.89 Safety -0.33 -0.37 -0.26 -0.29 -0.34 Schools -0.88 -0.91 -0.81 -0.85 -0.89 Access 0.21 0.23 0.17 0.16 0.19 Total Quality -1.90 -1.98 -1.75 -1.88 -1.92 ObjSubj
  14. 14. Online Resource & Neighborhood Outcomes Measure Alone Online Driving Friends Alone Driving Friends Home Satisfaction 46% 45% 46% 45% 44% 49% 52% 52% 54% NB Satisfaction 41% 41% 38% 38% 45% 42% 44% 45% 47% Perception of crime 0.16 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.18 0.16 0.16 0.15 0.15 Advantage -0.91 -0.94 -0.89 -0.92 -0.90 -0.84 -0.80 -0.82 -0.80 Safety -0.33 -0.37 -0.30 -0.43 -0.33 -0.26 -0.28 -0.27 -0.31 Schools -0.88 -0.91 -0.84 -0.92 -0.86 -0.81 -0.81 -0.81 -0.82 Access 0.21 0.23 0.21 0.27 0.16 0.17 0.16 0.14 0.15 Total Quality -1.90 -1.98 -1.82 -2.00 -1.93 -1.75 -1.72 -1.76 -1.78 All4 Counseling with … Overall Online with … SubjObj
  15. 15. Findings • Those who used online resources fared better objectively (c.p.) • No many sig difference between satisfaction and resource used • But … most people satisfied • No value added through multiple resources • Possible contaminating factors?
  16. 16. Policy Implications and Future Research Policy implications • Apparent benefit of online resources • Aids argument for wifi in developments • Lack of benefit of counseling … why? • Are services oriented toward finding a place, or finding a good place Future research • Interview voucher holders • Which websites work best • Why do people seek counseling? • What, if any, impact of counseling • Interviews with counselors and landlords • Acquire search data from Section 8 websites
  17. 17. Michael D. Webb mdwebb@unc.edu 919-962-0122

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