Abt Associates to evaluate ERAP effect on housing stability

Daily Record Staff//February 24, 2023

Abt Associates to evaluate ERAP effect on housing stability

By Daily Record Staff

//February 24, 2023

Rockville-based global research and consulting firm Abt Associates will join two other research teams to study the effect of the multibillion-dollar Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) on the risk of housing instability.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has contracted three separate research teams — Abt Associates, Princeton and Rutgers universities and the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California-Berkeley — to evaluate how ERAP affected housing stability. Evidence from Abt’s study will not only help policymakers understand what impact ERAP had but also will inform future rental assistance programs, including those implemented outside the context of an emergency.

The study team will take a multi-faceted look at ERAP’s rapid response and various approaches to implementation across localities and states. Researchers will analyze how Treasury and hundreds of state and local grantees deployed ERAP funding, including which programs were more or less effective at assisting households in need, and the extent to which ERAP assistance was equitably disbursed to BIPOC households.

Abt will conduct county-level analysis, exploring ERAP’s effects by race and ethnicity, and the specific policy choices (e.g., applicant prioritization) that contribute to ERAP’s impacts. For example, some programs preferred to make rental payments only to landlords, while others enabled direct-to-tenant payments; this study will provide an opportunity to determine whether direct aid in this context is more or less effective, a question that’s been raised in the ongoing guaranteed income/universal basic income policy conversation.

Results are expected in fall 2024.

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