Download Presentation (1.1 MB)

Publication Date


Document Type


Presentation Type


Degree Type



Politics and Government


Michael Hendricks

Mentor Department

Politics and Government


As it becomes more difficult for families to join the growing waitlists for assisted housing, research and policy initiatives have focused on expanding housing resources through new construction and multi-unit zoning expansion. While the need to create more opportunities to move people in to assisted housing is clear, there has been little research related to people moving out. This research aims to answer the question: how do the health and safety conditions of assisted housing influence residents’ length of stay? The first strategic goal of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to encourage self-sufficiency and financial stability among residents living in assisted housing. Assisted housing refers to public housing properties and multifamily assisted housing properties that are owned, insured, or subsidized by HUD. The department recognizes the relationship between financial stability and a healthy living environment by including the removal of leadbased paint and other hazards from homes as an objective for this goal. But in reality, the percent of properties that failed their physical inspections have increased since 2014. The poor conditions present in many low-income housing units, like mold or allergens, can result in large economic costs for residents. The normative assumption is that individuals, especially those with low income and high risk of chronic health issues, would prefer to not live in poor-quality housing. But in many instances within assisted housing, it is economic factors related to this poor-quality housing that creates barriers to moving out and achieving financial self-sufficiency. Therefore, this research expects that the greater presence of poor-quality health and safety housing conditions, the greater likelihood that residents will have longer lengths of stay. Utilizing merged HUD administrative datasets, this research will explore the statistical relationship between the quality level of housing and residents’ length of stay with multivariate regression models. Due to public concern about the validity of physical inspections conducted and calculated by HUD, this statistical analysis will be supplemented with qualitative interviews and focus groups with residents. This research expects to find a negative correlation between the quality level of housing conditions and length of stay and some discrepancies between HUD reporting and the reality of residents.

Toxic Relationship With Assisted Housing: Are Health And Safety Conditions Influencing Factors In Length Of Stay?