Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Correction: HUD Helps Greater Share of Income Eligible Renters in Portland Than in Detroit; Tenants Have More Choice Because Greater Share of Assistance Comes Via Vouchers.

Correction: I belatedly realized that Home Foward's Voucher count included a significant number of project based vouchers, which should be considered place based rental assistance.

I have no way to know how many project based vouchers there are in Detroit but subtracting project based vouchers from the tenant based voucher total would SIGNIFICANTLY change the ratio of vouchers to total HUD assisted units for Portland, reducing it from 59% to 40%. 

Assuming that Detroit has zero project based vouchers this would mean that in Portland the share of HUD assisted housing in the form of tenant vouchers is 1/3rd higher than Detroit and NOT twice as higher. (40% vs 31% instead of 59% vs 31%).

If you are interested in seeing that math in this scenario just look at the added worksheet " With Project Based Assumption". 

The share of all income eligible renters receiving HUD assistance in the two areas does not change. 

I apologize for any confusion.

The Detroit Revitalization Fellows from Wayne State are visiting this week in Portland so I thought it might be useful to do a comparison of HUD rental assistance in those two areas. (Long time readers know that my home town is Detroit, my alma mater is Wayne State University, and my childhood home was the Herman Gardens public housing project [now Gardenview Estates]).

The Excel file HERE and embedded below shows my calculations:

Some Observations: 
  1. For every 1,000 income eligible rental households (below 50% MFI) HUD helped 264 HH's in Portland/Mulnomah County vs 240 HH's in the City of Detroit. 
  2. Vouchers accounted for 59% of all HUD rental assistance in Portland but only 31% of all HUD rental assistance in Detroit. This means that HUD renters in Portland have greater locational choice than in Detroit, and HUD assisted renters in Detroit are more more dependent on placed based assistance and improvement efforts. 
  3. It is likely that Detroit has additional unused HUD funding from past public housing demolitions that might be used to fund additional project based assistance. This would increase the share of the income eligible population being served but might also further reduce the share of assistance coming in the form of vouchers.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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