Using HUD Administrative Data to Estimate Success Rates and Search Durations for New Voucher Recipients

Report by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Katherine O’Regan, Sarah Strochak
February 23, 2023

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy   (New York)

Housing choice vouchers are the largest federal rental assistance program in the United States,

serving more than 2 million households annually. Although this program is funded federally, it is

administered by local public housing agencies (PHAs). Unlike other federal programs, vouchers

require participants to search for and lease a unit on the private rental market, and not all

participants succeed in doing so. Success rates, defined as the share of searches that result in

a lease-up, have rarely been estimated on a national scale, and the few previous analyses have

required collecting data directly from PHAs. The goal of this study is to estimate individual PHA-

level and national success rates for recipients of housing choice vouchers at non-Moving to

Work (MTW) PHAs, solely using administrative data already collected by the U.S. Department

of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We also seek to evaluate the quality of these

administrative data, providing key data quality metrics at the PHA level.