At Home- News from Abt Associates' Housing and Communities Practice
Abt's Housing and  Communities practice: Delivering solutions to ensure vulnerable  Americans have a place to call home
 At Home is a quarterly
e-newsletter from the Housing & Communities Practice at Abt Associates. Here you'll find the latest research results and 
expert insights about housing and community development issues important to you. 
Summer 2013   

NYC's Homebase Program Is Helping At-Risk Families Stay out of Shelter, Saving Tax Dollars, Study Finds


At-risk families who had access to homelessness prevention services from New York City's Homebase Community Prevention program are spending less time in shelter, resulting in savings to taxpayers, according to an Abt Associates study for the New York City Department of Homeless Services.  


"We found not only a substantial reduction in the average amount of time families spend in shelter--a reduction from 32.2 nights to 9.6 nights over two years--but also that the savings from this reduction in shelter use were greater than the cost of operating the Homebase Community Prevention program," said Abt's Howard Rolston, Ph.D., principal associate and lead for the study. 


Rolston said the study indicated that every dollar spent to operate the Homebase program resulted in $1.06 less spent on shelter.  

Abt Helps LA Plan for Communities of Opportunity

Bernanke Highlights Plan in Recent Speech

building a home

Los Angeles' transit-oriented Five-Year Consolidated Plan--and Abt's "behind the scenes" work--were highlighted as a model of a new approach to holistic community development in remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to attendees at the Federal Reserve System Community Affairs Research Conference in April.


Abt, in collaboration with Enterprise Community Partners, began working with the City of Los Angeles in Fall 2012 to help develop a new consolidated plan to build communities of opportunity--a plan  that, for the first time in the city's history, integrates housing, transit, community development and economic development. 


Homelessness Avoided for Most Veteran Families Served by VA Program, Report Finds

veteran and family The majority of Veterans and their families who sought assistance to prevent or end homelessness achieved that goal in 2012 through a program funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to a just released report from the VA produced by Abt Associates in partnership with the Technical Assistance Collaborative.


The report indicates that 86% of the persons who exited the Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program in 2012 either maintained or obtained permanent housing at an average cost to the program of approximately $2,800 per household. 


What Does It Cost to Run a High-Performing HCV Program?



Abt Associates is using an innovative digital data collection method and new mobile software application to estimate the costs of operating the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The smartphone application, developed by Abt's partner, Resource Systems Group, uses a Random Moment Sampling statistical technique to measure the work performed by HCV staff.  


Staff are using smartphones to report on their detailed work activities over a two-month period. This will allow Abt researchers to create time estimates for each activity which can then be translated into an accurate estimate of the cost of administering the program at the local level.


The HCV program is the federal government's major program for helping very low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.


What We're Talking About


Will My Neighbors Rebuild? Spatial Externalities of Rebuilding and Visual Blight following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Jonathan Spader

American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association National Conference
Washington DC | May 31, 2013


Employment Programs for Supportive Housing Tenants - Panel Discussion

Sophia Heller, Moderator

13th Annual New York State Supportive Housing Conference, New York City | June 6, 2013


Evaluation 101

Jill Khadduri and Jennifer Turnham 

Bloomberg Philanthropies' Cities of Service Grantees

Washington, DC | June 19, 2013


In House
by Jeffrey Lubell


Jeffrey Lubell, director of housing initiatives

At Home is pleased to introduce In House, a new column on the nexus of housing policy and research by Abt's Director of Housing Initiatives, Jeffrey Lubell.  The column will be a regular feature of the At Home e-newsletter.  The inaugural column focuses on developing an evidence-based housing policy.  


Read the full text here.

book cover

A Chronicle of the Struggle for Acceptance

of Random Assignment Evaluation in Social Policy


Random assignment, once used primarily in medical clinical trials, is now a firmly established evaluation methodology in the social sciences, but acceptance of it was not overnight, reports Abt Associates' Howard Rolston, Ph.D., co-author of the recently published book, Fighting for Reliable Evidence


Jill Khadduri, senior fellow

Khadduri Briefs Members of Congress on LIHTC


Abt Senior Fellow Jill Khadduri is taking her years of research to Capitol Hill.  The housing policy expert recently participated in a private briefing to members of the House Ways and Means Committee where she presented findings from several Abt studies on the Low-income Housing Tax Credit program and related issues. The briefing was part of a congressional examination of such programs as part of a broader push on tax reform.


Interested in Past Issues of At Home?
At Home is a quarterly e-newsletter from the Housing and Communities Practice at Abt Associates. Here you'll find the latest research results and expert insights about housing and community development issues.

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