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Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Program Phase II Evaluation

Melissa Vandawalker, Ian Breunig, Samuel Dastrup, Sara Galantowicz, Gretchen Locke and Austin Nichols


March 9, 2020

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Section 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) Program provides rental housing assistance to non-elderly people with disabilities. In the second phase of Abt’s evaluation of the program, we compared its short-term outcomes to those for residents in other HUD rental assistance programs and for a group of similar people who receive Medicaid but are not assisted by HUD. We found:

  • The PRA program’s residents differed from comparison programs in their demographic characteristics, the neighborhoods where they lived and in the perception of quality of properties that were provided.   
  • The intended beneficiaries are being reached, although gaps in services are noted.
  • Rental subsidy costs are similar or lower than for other HUD programs but program administrative costs are higher.
  • PRA residents have fewer long-term care admissions—and more in home care services—than similar Medicare recipients not assisted by HUD, suggesting lower overall healthcare costs if these trends continue.