Non-Elderly Disabled Category 2 Housing Choice Voucher Program: An Implementation and Impact Analysis. B. Trends in Voucher Issue and Lease Rates

01/01/2014

Data reported by PHA staff to TAC on voucher issue and lease numbers, supplemented by data obtained during Mathematica discussions with PHAs during summer 2012, provided a snapshot at each of four points in time (June 2011, September 2011, December 2011, and summer 2012) of each PHA's progress in issuing and leasing the NED2 vouchers. These data points, presented in the aggregate in Figure II.1, demonstrate that it took PHAs longer to lease the vouchers than initially expected. In June 2011, five months after the initial award, only 5 percent of the 731 vouchers awarded to the 13 PHAs in this analysis were leased, with 23 percent either issued or leased. By December 2011, a month before HUD expected all vouchers to be fully leased, only 36 percent were leased, with 61 percent either issued or leased. By summer 2012, 79 percent of the vouchers were leased, and 93 percent were either issued or leased.

FIGURE II.1. Percentage of Vouchers Leased, and Issued or Leased, Among 13 PHAs
FIGURE II.1, Line chart: June 2011--Issued or Leased (23%), Leased (5%); September 2011--Issued or Leased (45%), Leased (23%); December 2011--Issued or Leased (61%), Leased (36%); Summer 2012--Issued or Leased (93%), Leased (79%).
SOURCE: Data points for June, September, and December 2011 were collected by TAC; those for summer 2012 were collected by Mathematica staff.

Aggregating these data masks significant variance among the 13 PHAs, however. (See Figures A.1 through A.13 in Appendix A, which show issue and lease rates over time for each individual PHA.) In June 2011, five months after the award, the majority of PHAs had issued or leased very few vouchers:

  • Six PHAs reported having at least 20 percent of their vouchers in issued or leased status: those in Pasadena, California; Baltimore County and Baltimore City, Maryland; New Jersey; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Snohomish County, Washington. Of these, Baltimore City had the most impressive start, with 65 percent of its vouchers issued or leased and more than a third of them in leased status.14

  • The remaining seven PHAs--in Decatur, Georgia; Orange County, California; Lynn, Massachusetts; Lucas County, Ohio; Austin, Texas; and Longview and Tacoma, Washington--all reported fewer than 20 percent of their vouchers in issued or leased status, with six reporting no vouchers leased at all. Two of these PHAs--Decatur and Lynn--reported no vouchers leased or issued.

In December 2011, nearly a year after the award, the majority of PHAs continued to show relatively low lease rates. About one month before HUD had expected all vouchers to be leased, only three PHAs--Baltimore City, New Jersey, and Snohomish County--reported having at least 85 percent of theirs issued or leased, and, of these, only Snohomish County and Baltimore City had at least 50 percent leased. The remaining ten PHAs reported fewer than two-thirds of their vouchers in issued or leased status, and all ten reported fewer than 50 percent of their vouchers as leased. Three PHAs--Orange County, Lynn, and Lucas County--reported fewer than 10 percent of their vouchers leased in December.

By summer 2012, however, the majority of the 13 PHAs reported higher leasing rates; only 21 percent of all NED2 vouchers were still not leased. Nine PHAs reported 100 percent of vouchers in either issued or leased status: Lynn, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Lucas County, Snohomish County, Longview, and Tacoma. All nine reported high lease rates; the lowest was 74 percent, in Baltimore County. Cincinnati was the only PHA to report 100 percent of its vouchers as leased. Four PHAs, however--Orange County, Pasadena, Decatur, and Austin--reported fewer than 85 percent of vouchers as being issued or leased, and fewer than 70 percent as leased. Orange County reported the lowest leasing rate, at 36 percent.

As these numbers suggest, some sites, particularly Baltimore City, New Jersey, and Snohomish County, had greater success than others in leasing a large proportion of their awarded vouchers early. Progress for Lynn, Baltimore County, Cincinnati, Lucas County, Longview, and Tacoma was slower, but each was able to issue or lease all of its allotted vouchers by summer 2012. A year and a half after the award, however, the remaining PHAs in Orange County, Pasadena, Decatur, and Austin, while citing some progress in 2012, continued to report many of their vouchers unused. We examined the implementation process in each of the 13 sites to determine if noticeable differences in approach, experiences, and barriers might explain the variation in progress.

TABLE II.2. Implementation Protocol by Site
State Site PHA-HHS/MFP
  Previous Relationship  
  Involvement of HHS/  
MFP in Application
  Efforts to Train  
& Educate Staff
  Centralized Coordination  
of Referral Process
MFP Housing
  Specialist Involved  
  PHA-HHS/MFP  
Communication
  Central Database/  
Tracking System
Most Vouchers Issued and Leased Within the First Year of NED2 Program (>85%)
New Jersey New Jersey No High Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
Maryland Baltimore City Yes Medium Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
Washington Snohomish County   No High Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
All Vouchers Issued and Leased by Summer 2012 (100%) but Not Within the First Year of NED2 Program
Maryland Baltimore County Yes Medium Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
Massachusetts   City of Lynn No High Immediate Yes Noa High Yes
Ohio City of Cincinnati No High Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
Lucas County No High Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
Washington City of Tacoma No High Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
City of Longview No High Immediate Yes Yes High Yes
Fewest Vouchers Issued and Leased Within the First Year of NED2 Program (<60%) and by Summer 2012 (<85%)
California Orange County No Low Delayed No No Low No
City of Pasadena No None Delayed No No Low No
Georgia City of Decatur No Low Delayed No No Low No
Texas City of Austin Yes High Immediate No No High No
SOURCE: Mathematica analysis of information obtained from PHA and HHS/MFP staff.
NOTE:
  1. Massachusetts did not have an active MFP program during the data collection period; however, staff at the human services agency were serving in this capacity.

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