Posted Date: August 17, 2021
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August 17, 2021  

New Cityscape Reflects on the Rental Assistance Demonstration and the Hispanic Housing Experience

The newest edition of Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research is a double issue featuring two research symposiums. Nathan Bossie and Paul Joice introduce the first symposium on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). Congress authorized RAD in 2012 to preserve affordable housing by allowing Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to convert from their original source of HUD funding to project-based section 8 contracts or project-based vouchers. RAD gives PHAs more flexibility to use private funding to pay for rehabilitation costs and unmet capital needs.

Alex Schwartz and Kirk McClure explore how the RAD program can “consume” Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Based on current trends, Schwartz and McClure predict that, over the next decade, roughly 60 percent of all 4-percent credits and 20 percent of all 9-percent credits will be absorbed by the RAD program.

Christopher Hayes, Matthew Gerken, and Susan Popkin study RAD from the tenant’s perspective. After surveying residents from 19 properties, they find that tenants were generally satisfied with the conversion process although, overall, most households did not experience large effects from RAD.

Tiana Moore, Sarah Lazzeroni, and Diana Hernandez examine some of the opportunities for and barriers to resident participation in the RAD conversion process by studying select RAD properties in Central California.

Diana Hernandez, Erin Harned, Maiko Yomogida, Dionna Attinson, Daniel P. Giovenco, Angela Aidala, Chunrong Jia, Paola Martinez, Susan Camerata, and Joyce Moon Howard assess the impact that the RAD program has on resident satisfaction, smoking habits, and exposure to second-hand smoke. They find that RAD contributed to reduced residential smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. In addition, tenants were generally happier with their housing condition after the conversion process, although those who remained bothered by secondhand smoke were not as pleased with their new living conditions.

Yumiko Aratani, Ariel Charney, and Colleen Heflin explore the benefits and shortcomings of using linked administrative data (such as public housing and school district records) to evaluate the impact that RAD and similar social programs have on the well-being of low-income children.

Guest editor George R. Carter III introduces the second symposium on the Hispanic Housing Experience in the United States. This is the first of a two-part symposium spanning two Cityscape issues. Part I examines homelessness and residential segregation in the Hispanic community.

Rocio Sanchez-Moyano and Eileen Diaz McConnell introduce this symposium by explaining the importance of studying the Hispanic Housing Experience. Since the housing experiences of Hispanics are often studied in conjunction with those of other immigrants or minorities, the authors insist that it would be helpful to research the specific housing conditions of this large group of Americans.

Claudia Aiken, Vincent J. Reina, and Dennis P. Culhane explore how and why Hispanics are underrepresented in housing and homelessness assistance programs despite the poor housing conditions that many face. They conclude that language barriers and immigration status are two of the most notable obstacles that many Hispanic households face when trying to access these resources.

Melissa Chinchilla and Sonya Gabrielian study the unsheltered Latinx population in Los Angeles County and examine how this group differs from both sheltered Latinx and other unsheltered populations. They suggest that there is value in specifically targeting more programs and services to unsheltered Latinx.

John Arroyo examines how some of the anti-immigration policies and practices of one suburban Atlanta county have shaped the environment in which Mexican immigrants live.

Yana Kucheva analyzes patterns of residential segregation among Hispanic households and suggests policy changes that have the potential to help more low-income Hispanic residents move to amenity-rich neighborhoods.

Haley McAvay studies Hispanic spatial assimilation in the United States and draws comparisons with immigrant assimilation in Western Europe. McAvay emphasizes the importance of consciously addressing race and ethnicity when designing policies.

Yu Korekawa discusses ethnic segregation and other housing issues faced by immigrants in the United States and around the world. The author contrasts the housing conditions of immigrants living in the United States with those in Japan where residential segregation is less noticeable.

Point of Contention: The New Eviction Module in the American Housing Survey

Shawn Bucholtz studies how well the American Housing Survey (AHS) measures the prevalence of eviction throughout the United States. Bucholtz suggests possible reforms that could make the AHS more a more reliable indicator of evictions.

Sophie Collyer, Katherine Friedman, and Christopher Wimer compare how the American Housing Survey (AHS) and the Poverty Tracker measure evictions and explain some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. They highlight some limitations of the AHS and reiterate some of Bucholtz’s proposed reforms for this survey.

Ashley Gromis and Matthew Desmond use new data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) to estimate the prevalence of evictions throughout the United States. They explain how the recent addition of certain questions in the AHS has expanded measurements of evictions. However, they allege that AHS still underestimates evictions in the United States, especially because it only accounts for formal evictions.

Refereed Papers

This issue of Cityscape includes one refereed paper.

Laura Petry, Chyna Hill, Phebe Vayanos, Eric Rice, Hsun-Ta Hsu, and Matthew Morton study the accuracy of a vulnerability index that many cities use to prioritize housing resources for people experiencing homelessness. Using data from 16 communities, the researchers analyze whether the index correlates with the return to homelessness among single adults less than one year after intervention.


Articles in Cityscape’s regularly appearing departments include:

Data Shop: Toward a Cross-Platform Framework: Assessing the Comprehensiveness of Online Rental Listings by Ana Costa, Victoria Sass, Ian Kennedy, Roshni Roy, Rebecca J. Walter, Arthur Acolin, Kyle Crowder, Chris Hess, Alex Ramiller, and Sarah Chasins; Measuring Neighborhood Change Using Postal and Housing Choice Voucher Data: Results from a Pilot Analysis of Four Metropolitan Areas in Washington, D.C. and Ohio by Alena Stern.

Foreign Exchange: The Impact of COVID-19 on Homeless Service Providers and Homeless People: The Migrant Perspective by Simona Barbu, Sergio Perez Barranco, and Ruby Silk; Urban Renewal or Earthquake Preparedness: Lessons from Israel’s National Master Plan for Earthquake Preparedness (TAMA 38) by Moshe Shamai and Ravit Hananel.

Graphic Detail: The Geography of Hispanic HUD-Assisted Households by Alexander Din and Veronica Eva Helms Garrison; Using Environmental Protection Agency Data Tools to Map Particulate Matter 2.5 Near Public Housing Buildings and Major Roads in New York by Perrin Krisko; Acquiring State Hospital Discharge Data and Identifying the Availability and Consistency of Homelessness Indicators of Interest by Emily Sokol.

Impact: Verification of Eligibility Status: Amendments to Further Implement Provisions of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 by Maria Chelo Manlagnit De Venecia, Alastair McFarlane, Yves Djoko, and Lydia B. Taghavi.

Industrial Revolution: A Path to 80 x 50 for Public Housing Authorities by Tom Sahagian and Rory Christian; A Fresh Look at Emergency and Rapid Shelter Solutions: Key Takeaways from The Rapid Shelter Innovation Showcase by Charly Ligety.

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