In 2012, PD&R focused its cooperative agreement efforts on research partnerships that advanced one of the four key priorities described below. Proposals demonstrated that research aligned with one of these priorities.
HUD values demonstrations as a method for evaluating new policy and program initiatives. HUD was interested in research opportunities that took advantage of its demonstrations, including completed, current, and future demonstrations. For example, the Moving to Opportunity demonstration was completed in 2011, but additional policy questions remained that could be answered using the existing data. In addition, the Choice Neighborhoods demonstration, which began in 2010, and the Rental Assistance Demonstration and Small Area FMR Demonstration, which both began in 2012, are all currently underway and provide further opportunities for research.
Using housing as a platform to improve quality of life
HUD has identified using housing as a platform for improving quality of life as a goal in our Strategic Plan. Specifically, the Department is interested in how HUD assistance can be used to improve educational outcomes and early learning and development; improve health outcomes; increase economic security and self sufficiency; improve housing stability through supportive services for vulnerable populations, including the elderly, people with disabilities, homeless people, and those individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless; and improve public safety. To evaluate the ability of housing assistance to positively affect these various outcomes has required reaching beyond the sphere of housing to health, education, and other areas.
American Housing Survey data
One of HUD’s largest research investments is the American Housing Survey (AHS). The AHS provides a wealth of data on size and composition of the nation’s housing inventory, which could be more effectively used by researchers to address questions about housing market dynamics.
Housing technology for construction and rehabilitation work for HUD-funded clients
Public and private housing providers are increasingly using housing technology to improve energy efficiency or to introduce green or sustainable housing rehabilitation, construction, or products in the HUD-funded housing. HUD was interested in research that explored the successful efforts and knowledge of the private building sector that carried out construction and rehabilitation work for HUD-funded clients. This was accomplished by examining products and systems, the decision-making process by private and public parties, and strategies pursued by private and philanthropic parties producing and promoting products and systems. HUD’s interest was in encouraging replication of successful efforts by both private builders and HUD clients.