This NOFO supports qualitative research focused on the Moving to Work (MTW) Stepped and Tiered Rent Demonstration (STRD).
In the Stepped and Tiered Rent Demonstration (STRD), ten public housing agencies (PHAs) will implement alternative rents that might be easier to administer and might incentivize
assisted households to increase their earnings.
The traditional rent policy applied by PHAs (referred to as the Brooke rent) typically sets an assisted household’s rent at 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income.
This rent policy is administratively complex and burdensome for both PHAs and assisted households.
The Brooke rent is hypothesized to be a disincentive for households to increase their earnings, as $100 dollars of increased income would result in $30 of increased rent.
Under the STRD, five PHAs will implement a stepped rent, under which a household’s rent will increase modestly each year regardless of their income, and five PHAs will implement a tiered rent, under which households are assigned to income-based tiers and rents are set based on the tier.
The STRD is designed as an experiment, and HUD is already funding an independent impact evaluation (find the research design, data collection and analysis plan at the following link:
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/mtw/cohort 2. html).
The objective of this NOFO, the Qualitative Data Collection for Cohort 2 MTW Expansion- Rent Reform Experiment, is to support qualitative research focused on the assisted households served by the ten PHAs that are participating in the STRD.
The objective of the qualitative data collection to be supported under this NOFO is to gather information that documents how low-income renters make sense of and respond to different rent policies.
Research conducted under these grants is expected to complement HUD's ongoing STRD impact evaluation by providing rich qualitative information related to the implementation of the new stepped and tiered rent policies, with a particular emphasis on how the rent policies are experienced by assisted housheolds participating in the demonstration.