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DC Flexible Rent Subsidy Program: Findings from the Program's First Year



Release Date: 
October 2020 (75 pages)
Posted Date:   
August 9, 2021



This report summarizes the results of our evaluation of the DC Flexible Rent Subsidy Program (DC Flex). It focuses primarily on the results of the qualitative analysis. The Lab’s quantitative analysis is briefly summarized here but will be discussed in more detail in an eventual submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

The report begins with the program’s background, in the context of other housing assistance programs. Next, the research questions and methods are detailed. This is followed by an overview of the program’s design and implementation, which details eligibility criteria, participant characteristics, the enrollment and account setup processes, participant services in addition to the $7,200, and recertification. This section is followed by a discussion of first-year outcomes, organized by topic: use of DC Flex accounts, homelessness and housing stability, used of homeless Continuum of Care services, housing mobility, and economic well-being. The body of the report ends with a discussion of analysis limitations and a conclusion.

The document concludes with seven appendices. The first two relate to the Urban Institute’s research: survey responses (A) and focus group interview protocols (B). The following four (C–F) add depth to The Lab @ DC’s quantitative analysis. The final appendix (G) details deviations from The Lab @ DC’s pre-analysis plan.