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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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Measuring Mortgage Credit Availability Using Ex-Ante Probability of Default (Research Report)
Wei Li, Laurie Goodman

The Housing Finance Policy Center’s new measure of credit availability--the HCAI--improves upon existing measures of credit availability by calculating with great specificity how much actual risk the market is taking at any given point in time. The HCAI is extremely robust and objective and produces intuitive results because it takes several borrower’s characteristics as well as loan characteristics into account and is weighted for the likelihood of economic downturns. It is also completely transparent.

Posted to Web: November 18, 2014Publication Date: November 18, 2014

Do Homeownership and Rent Subsidies Protect Individuals from Material Hardship? (Research Brief)
Robert I. Lerman, Sisi Zhang

Homeowners and subsidized renters experience significantly lower material hardship than unsubsidized renters, even after taking account of income, income variability, race, education, and family structure. Homeownership conveys more protection against hardship than do rent subsidies. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we estimate the likelihood of experiencing any material hardship is about 9.2 percent lower for subsidized renters and 24.5 percent lower for homeowners. Even homeowners who bought just before the recent crash in home prices experienced less hardship than unsubsidized renters. White, black, and Hispanic homeowners all suffer less material hardship than their renting counterparts (whether subsidized or unsubsidized). This reduction is most pronounced among Hispanic families.

Posted to Web: November 18, 2014Publication Date: November 18, 2014

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

This month’s edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes updated indicators related to credit availability and a special quarterly look at Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s loan composition, default rates, and repurchase activity.

Posted to Web: November 18, 2014Publication Date: November 18, 2014

Affordable Housing Needs Assessment: Phase 1 (Research Report)
Peter A. Tatian, Elizabeth Oo

This report is the first part of an affordable housing needs assessment for the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. We examined the District of Columbia’s Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) program through interviews, document review, and data analysis. The IZ program has great potential to help expand the city’s supply of affordable housing, particularly in neighborhoods undergoing rapid development. While the overall design of DC’s IZ program seems sound, we believe that adopting the proposed IZ administrative regulations will help developers, renters, and owners save time and improve their understanding of the program and its requirements.

Posted to Web: November 17, 2014Publication Date: October 31, 2014

Supportive Housing for High-Need Families in the Child Welfare System (Research Report)
Mary K. Cunningham, Mike Pergamit, Marla McDaniel, Maeve Gearing, Simone Zhang, Brent Howell

Supportive Housing is an intervention that combines affordable housing with intensive wrap around services. The intervention has been successful with hard to serve populations, such as chronically homeless adults. Communities are testing the efficacy of supportive housing with high-need child welfare families to learn if providing supportive housing helps improve outcomes for children and families, spend taxpayer dollars more wisely, and lead to long-lasting systems change and service integration. The Partnership to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System is a federal demonstration investigating these important questions. This brief describes the purpose and design of the demonstration and profiles the five program sites.

Posted to Web: November 12, 2014Publication Date: November 13, 2014

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