The Impacts of Self-Sufficiency Interventions on Recipients of Rental Housing Subsidies: An Exploratory Analysis of Data from Selected Randomized Controlled Trials

The Impacts of Self-Sufficiency Interventions on Recipients of Rental Housing Subsidies: An Exploratory Analysis of Data from Selected Randomized Controlled Trials (with James Riccio). Prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. January 14, 2015.

This working paper explores the effects of various employment-advancement or antipoverty initiatives on labor market outcomes for participants in those programs who were also recipients of government rental subsidies. The findings are based on exploratory secondary analyses of data from a collection of randomized trials for which MDRC served as the evaluator. The purpose of these secondary analyses was to produce evidence that could help guide planning for future programs aiming to help housing-assistance recipients obtain, sustain, and advance in employment. The findings show that some interventions produced no effects on tenants’ employment and earnings, while others had some positive effects, but these were primarily limited to particular subgroups. Moreover, most tenants who benefited from the interventions remained a long way from self-sufficiency, suggesting the importance of continuing to develop and test more innovative approaches. The analysis was supported by a Research Partnerships Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), with matching funds from the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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