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Impact of Expanded Choice on Attrition in the Housing Voucher Program

Judy Geyer, Samuel Dastrup and Meryl Finkel


December 3, 2019

In this article, we estimate the effect of the introduction of Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs), vouchers (which promote moving to higher-opportunity neighborhoods) on the length of participation in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The study finds that the introduction of SAFMR increased program attrition, particularly among working-age adults and in households living in low- and average-rent areas at the time of program introduction. These findings highlight the need for additional research to determine the factors resulting in program attrition.