Housing Assistance and Supportive Services in Memphis. ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

01/05/2013

In order to assess the state of need and service provision in Memphis, the research team used a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques. On February 26 and 27, 2012, the research team (Dr. Susan Popkin, Lesley Freiman and Amanda Mireles from the Urban Institute and Dr. Laura Harris from the University of Memphis) conducted a series of semi-structured interviews in Memphis with a variety of stakeholders. These stakeholders included local government officials at the city and county level, the contracting agency implementing HOPE VI in Memphis, non-profit leaders, local service funders, and local researchers, as well the head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) field office and members of the Memphis Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) team. Prior to this visit, Dr. Harris had conducted a series of informal interviews and conversations with local stakeholders. (See Attachment C for a complete list of interview respondents).

The interviews covered a range of topics, including details of the policy, planning, and service provision landscape in Memphis, new and longstanding challenges in serving high-needs populations, coordination between service providers and other stakeholders, and current and upcoming programs and initiatives. In each interview, the research team also discussed possibilities for the technical assistance that the team will provide for local stakeholders.

The research team also obtained household- and client-level administrative data on public housing residents relocated as a result of the Memphis Housing Authority's (MHA) HOPE VI initiatives. We received data from two sources: Urban Strategies, which administers the Memphis HOPE program that provides case management and supportive services to HOPE VI relocatees, and the HUD field office in Memphis. The data from Urban Strategies pertain to households receiving services from Memphis HOPE who were relocated from Cleaborn Homes in 2010, Dixie Homes (2008), and Lamar Terrace (2003), including current (or last known relocation) and former locations, housing assistance use, service referral history, and demographics. The data provided on former Lamar Terrace and Cleaborn Homes residents were extracted from the case management data system in April 2012, and the data provided on former residents of Dixie Homes were extracted in October 2011. However active case management for Lamar Terrace and Dixie Homes relocatees ended in 2008 and 2011, respectively, so many of these records have not been updated in a number of years. For these cases, we used the last available information Memphis HOPE could provide on location, demographics, services, and income for each household or resident. The HUD field office provided an extract from the Public Housing Information Center (PIC) database, which includes information on all households currently receiving housing assistance through MHA housing voucher programs. The data extract includes all Memphis households either receiving a voucher for the first time or undergoing annual recertification between March 2011 and February 2012 and provides information on location, household size, and demographics of head of household. We used these two data sources to both analyze the current and former locations and concentrations (or dispersion) of housing assistance users in Memphis, as well to compile information about likely service needs based on referral records and demographics.

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"Memphis Final Brief.pdf" (pdf, 717.21Kb)

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"Appendix A-Focus Group Materials.pdf" (pdf, 174.61Kb)

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"Appendix B-Maps.pdf" (pdf, 3.81Mb)

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"Appendix C-Assessment Memo.pdf" (pdf, 4.14Mb)

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