Hud User Home > About > Mission & Background
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) supports the Department's efforts to help create cohesive, economically healthy communities.
PD&R is responsible for maintaining current information on housing needs, market conditions, and existing programs, as well as conducting research on priority housing and community development issues. The Office provides reliable and objective data and analysis to help inform policy decisions. PD&R is committed to involving a greater diversity of perspectives, methods, and researchers in HUD research.
In 1978, PD&R established HUD User an information source for housing and community development researchers, academics, policymakers, and the American public. HUD User is the primary source for federal government reports and information on housing policy and programs, building technology, economic development, urban planning, and other housing-related topics. HUD User also creates and distributes a wide variety of useful information products and services. The Clearinghouse Help Desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 Eastern time; the toll-free number is 1-800-245-2691. Publication requests and general inquiries can also be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solomon Greene - Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Todd M. Richardson - General Deputy Assistant Secretary
PD&R organization charts are available here.
Data Governance Board
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum M-19-23 requires all federal agencies to establish a Data Governance Board that will “set and enforce priorities for managing data as a strategic asset to support the agency in meeting its mission”.
PD&R Biennial Reports
PD&R’s biennial reports inform those who use the data and research PD&R produces about who PD&R is, what PD&R does, and some input about how PD&R functions. The reports highlight PD&R’s most notable and transformative accomplishments over a period of two years.
HUD Historical Timeline
The historical timeline presents a visualization of the federal government’s role in promoting affordable housing and urban development. The timeline covers significant legislative, organizational, community development, and other events dating from the early 1930s to the present day.
Guidelines and Brochures
Guidelines and Brochures.
Datasets Reference Guide
Datasets Reference Guide.
To inform policy development and implementation to improve life in American communities through conducting, supporting, and sharing research, surveys, demonstrations, program evaluations, and best practices.
PD&R was established in 1973 as an office headed by an Assistant Secretary. The statutory authority for PD&R' s research activities is found in Title V of the 1970 Housing Act, which authorizes programs of "research, studies, testing, and demonstrations relating to the missions and programs of the Department." Research priorities have differed from administration to administration, with varying mixes of housing studies, housing technology research, demonstrations, HUD program evaluations, and policy reports. PD&R' s research activities are designed to have immediate relevance to the policy issues facing the Secretary and the Secretary’s principal staff.
PD&R also provides analytical expertise and information resources to help senior HUD staff make informed policy decisions. For instance, PD&R plays a policy advisory role in preparing HUD' s regulatory, budget, and legislative proposals, and in other activities such as assessing the economic effect of HUD’s regulations and setting performance goals and measures.
PD&R provides a valuable service to researchers and the public by expanding the availability of statistics on housing and urban development. In addition to the American Housing Survey and State of the Cities Data Systems, PD&R makes available (1) unique data on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit; (2) annual publications of fair market rents (FMRs) and estimates of Area Median Family Income, which are used as a standards for determining rent and subsidy levels in HUD and other federal and state housing programs; and (3) a variety of other publications on the characteristics of families assisted under HUD programs.
A description of PD&R offices and divisions can be found here.
The biennial reports highlight PD&R’s most notable and transformative accomplishments. Click here to access the latest biennial report.
HUD Strategic Plan 2022-2026
This document presents the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2022 through 2026.
Policy Development and Support
Drawing on its research and extensive program knowledge, PD&R advises the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, and principal staff on program policy issues arising from the formulation of legislative and budget proposals, from regulatory responsibilities, and from other proposed major actions of the Department. Recent examples of PD&R' s policy advisory role include providing data, analysis, and other input on issues such as regulatory and policy changes, as well as preparation of the Administration's annual budget and legislative proposals.
Using in-house staff and contractors, PD&R undertakes studies and issues reports on HUD programs to determine how well they are achieving their objectives and how they can be improved. PD&R also conducts studies and issues reports on housing and community development matters not tied directly to HUD programs.
To learn more about specific current research projects, click here.
PD&R conducts a limited number of demonstration projects based on new program concepts. The purpose of the demonstrations is to test new programs systematically to determine if they have measurable impacts that can inform public policy. Current example is the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) addressing ways to bring families receiving HUD housing assistance to greater self-sufficiency.
PD&R makes a major contribution to the body of housing research by analyzing, distributing, and maintaining nationwide databases on housing market and local economic conditions. In cooperation with the Census Bureau, PD&R produces the American Housing Survey, a biannual survey of the nation's housing market, as well as other surveys of housing markets. PD&R has created and maintains several important housing and urban databases, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit database and the State of the Cities Data Systems, which are available on our website, www.huduser.gov (part of a research information service and clearinghouse known as HUD USER that also offers Help Desk assistance at 1-800-245-2691).
As part of its in-house research efforts, PD&R maintains numerous other databases on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the mortgage market. PD&R also maintains extensive data on the characteristics of assisted housing tenants and voucher recipients. In-house analysis of these data has resulted in important policy recommendations by PD&R staff.
Periodically, PD&R convenes conferences and seminars on housing and community development issues, often in conjunction with other HUD offices or outside organizations. PD&R brings scholars, decisionmakers, and advocates together in a variety of settings ranging from brown-bag seminars to major policy conferences. Examples include quarterly briefings and other events that can be found here.
All research reports and studies that PD&R funds or prepares are available to the public in hard copy and electronic formats. Both versions can be obtained on www.huduser.gov. PD&R also publishes a number of periodicals, including Cityscape, Evidence Matters and an online magazine PD&R Edge which is updated bi-weekly.
An Information Quality Bulletin of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), dated December 16, 2004, and published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2005 (pages 2664-2677), required federal agencies to conduct a "peer review" of "Influential and Highly Influential Scientific Information," as those terms are defined in the Bulletin prior to dissemination to the public.
As of April 11, 2018, HUD is aware of one pending study that may qualify as influential scientific information, as defined in the OMB Bulletin, that is subject to the Bulletin's peer review reporting requirements. See the Peer Review Agenda.
For questions regarding the peer review requirement of the Bulletin, please contact Mark Shroder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring, at (202) 402-5922. For legal questions, please contact Aaron Santa Anna, Assistant General Counsel for Regulations, at (202) 708-3055.
The field economists within the Economic Market Analysis Division (EMAD) provide local and regional market intelligence, and conduct market analysis reviews of FHA multifamily housing applications. Customers include Regional Administrators, Field Office Directors and Program Managers along with their clients, including other Government agencies especially interested in housing demand forecasts generated by the field economist team. Headquarters staff within the division produces Fair Market Rents, income limits, annual inflation adjustment factors, and Fair Share funds allocation factors used in HUD's assisted housing programs. The division also oversees and edits the regional summaries and local housing market profiles prepared by the field economists for HUD's quarterly publication, U.S. Housing Market Conditions.
PD&R Offices and Initiatives
PD&R regularly interacts with the four primary HUD program offices and employs staff who are familiar with all of their programs. PD&R staff provides these offices with technical support, data, maps, and other materials relevant to their programs. Additionally, PD&R serves as a resource of information and institutional knowledge for divisions within the Secretary's Office, providing briefing materials and rapid responses for the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.
PD&R maintains and produces large databases that are essential to HUD program operations. This support includes collecting information through national and locally based surveys, including FMRs and assisted housing income limits.
Executive Order No. 12866 requires that federal agencies promulgating regulations prepare economic analyses of regulations that have a significant economic effect. In addition, the Regulatory Flexibility act (RFa) requires agencies to prepare regulatory flexibility analyses for regulations that have a substantial impact on a significant number of small entities. Economic and regulatory flexibility analyses are frequently combined into a single document. The intent of E.O. 12866 and the RFa is for the required analyses to inform the rulemaking process and ensure adequate public understanding of the potential effects of major regulations. Because of the high level of expertise in economics and statistical analysis required to complete these large-scale assessments, PD&R is the primary manager of the Department's regulatory analysis function. PD&R reviews all new HUD regulations for potential impact on the economy; prepares economic analyses of new HUD rules, as needed, or directs the preparation of economic analyses of new HUD rules by PD&R contractors; reviews economic analyses prepared by other offices for methodological soundness and feasibility; and advises program office officials on how proposed regulations can be altered to achieve the regulatory objective while avoiding unnecessary costs to the economy.
PD&R supports the Federal Housing administration by providing FHA with key policy and technical support. We also offer financial expertise on FHA's actuarial studies, assist FHA on automated underwriting and mortgage scorecard initiatives, conduct program evaluations, analyze mortgage market trends, and provide general policy support on a wide range of topics (such as FHA insurance premiums). In addition, PD&R Field Economists conduct market analysis of applications for FHA multifamily mortgage insurance. The most significant PD&R effort involves automated underwriting and mortgage scorecard work.
PD&R works with other agencies and private-sector organizations to make american housing more affordable, durable, safe, energy-efficient, and disaster-resistant by sponsoring objective research on the effects of new programs and technologies.
For consumers seeking information on home renovation and new construction, PD&R has developed the Consumer’s Guide to Energy-Efficient and Healthy Homes, which provides a concise overview of various building products, systems, and design/construction strategies, along with links to more detailed information on other federal websites.
The Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) supports HUD's efforts to find new solutions and align ideas and resources by working across public, private, and civil sectors to further HUD's mission. IPI does this by performing research, developing networks, and facilitating collaboration of key partners and resources. To position HUD as a hub for innovation, IPI works to build new capacity and clarity within HUD by providing expert resources and a venue for staff and partners to access the best available evidence, innovations, and lessons from the philanthropic and international sectors. Within these sectors, IPI supports HUD and the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) by:
- Engaging in outreach and information exchange;
- Providing client management and assistance;
- Conducting joint research and knowledge management; and
- Stimulating project co-investment.
IPI has the unique task of linking domestic policy and practice to innovative and timely models from our international and philanthropic partners.
The Research Utilization Division (RUD) disseminates PD&R and partner housing and community development research. RUD reaches out to its stakeholders using this website, social media, and online magazine. The dissemination effort provides information, research findings, and market and program support data; housing policy and research translation on-line, in publications, and in-person. Awards and competitions are administered through RUD.
HUD Evaluation Policy Statement
In August 2021, PD&R published the HUD Evaluation Policy Statement. This policy statement articulates the core principles and practices of HUD's evaluation and research activities. This policy reaffirms HUD's commitment to conducting rigorous, relevant evaluations and to using evidence from evaluations to inform policy and practice.
The Evaluation Policy Statement identifies certain core principles and practices as fundamental to ensuring high-quality and consistent evaluation results:
- Technical innovation
This policy applies to all HUD-sponsored evaluations and regulatory impact analyses; it also applies to the selection of projects, contractors, and HUD staff that are involved in evaluations.
The 2021 Evaluation Policy Statement is available to download here.
The previous HUD Evaluation Policy Statement (2016) can be found here.