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Abt, HUD To Study Strategies for Building Financial Stability

Rockville, Md.  –  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has contracted Abt Global to study two different strategies for helping households that receive HUD assistance. Through the Moving to Work Expansion Asset Building Cohort, Abt will analyze the effects of two asset-building strategies on financial and housing stability. The study will help HUD build evidence about whether housing can serve as an effective platform for financial empowerment.

Abt will evaluate two asset-building programs under the $3.7 million contract:

  1. The Opt-Out Savings Account Program: Public housing authorities (PHAs) will make monthly deposits into an escrow or personal savings account for public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) participants over a two-year period. The goal is to increase the number of households with a bank account and enough savings to meet small financial emergencies. Some participating PHAs will partner with organizations to provide financial education and coaching, tailored banking resources, and other services.
  2. The Rent Reporting Program: PHAs will report the rent payments of participating public housing households to credit bureaus for at least 24 months to help those households build credit. Typically, rent payments are not reported, so the goal will be to improve participants’ access to credit.

“Different families will benefit from different supports to establish financial wellbeing, and housing stability can be a vital part of that process,” says Eduardo Castellon, Abt’s Vice President of Housing and Asset Building. “We look forward to helping HUD and participating PHAs to determine what works best for their communities.”

For more than 55 years, federal, state, local and non-profit clients have trusted Abt to deliver multidisciplinary approaches that address complex housing, community, and societal challenges. Every day, we work with our partners and communities to ground solutions in data, lived experience, and equity.

About Abt Global
Abt Global is a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people's lives. We partner with clients and communities to advance equity and innovation—from creating scalable digital solutions and combatting infectious disease, to mitigating climate change and evaluating programs for measurable social impact.

Eric Tischler
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