Community Choice Demonstration

Last registered on July 29, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Community Choice Demonstration
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009805
Initial registration date
July 27, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 29, 2022, 5:11 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Abt Associates

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Urban Institute
PI Affiliation
Abt Associates
PI Affiliation
Abt Associates

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-08-01
End date
2027-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This multisite randomized controlled trial will evaluate the effects of the $50 million Community Choice Demonstration (Demonstration) that Congress funded to expand the residential choices of families with children and help them access lower-poverty areas. Through a competitive selection process, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has selected nine sites across the United States to participate in the Demonstration, three of which represent a partnership between two neighboring public housing agencies. The 12 public housing agencies that are participating in the Demonstration and their partners are expected to offer mobility-related services to more than 10,000 families with children participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program over a four-and-a-half-year period beginning in August 2022. Mobility-related services consist of coaching, financial assistance and other supports to help families access specifically designated “opportunity areas.”

Applying a mix of qualitative methods and a randomized controlled trial, an Evaluation Team led by Abt Associates, in partnership with the Urban Institute and supported by evaluation partners, outside consultants, and an expert panel, will study the effectiveness of mobility-related services in facilitating moves to and retention in opportunity areas. In addition to generating actionable knowledge about the effectiveness of providing mobility-related services in a range of different cities and counties, the study will lay the groundwork for future long-term follow-up to assess the effects of being offered mobility-related services on the health and educational outcomes and economic mobility of children and their families.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Cunningham (Co-Principal Investigator), Mary et al. 2022. "Community Choice Demonstration." AEA RCT Registry. July 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9805
Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors

Partner

Type
private_company
Type
private_company
Type
private_company
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The Community Choice Demonstration (Demonstration) is a multi-site randomized controlled trial that will study the effects of two interventions. The first intervention, Comprehensive Mobility-Related Services (CMRS), will provide a comprehensive set of services that aims to address all of the principal obstacles that HCV participants experience accessing lower-poverty areas, including financial barriers, knowledge and skill gaps, hesitancy on the part of families to move to opportunity areas, hesitancy on the part of property owners in opportunity areas to participate in the HCV program, and challenges that affect families’ ability to stay in opportunity areas once there. The second intervention, Selected Mobility-Related Services (SMRS), will test up to three bundles of services selected from the broader CMRS to determine whether they can effectively assist families in accessing opportunity areas at a lower cost.

The term “Community Choice Demonstration” is the new name developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration that was authorized and funded through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 and the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020.
Intervention Start Date
2022-08-01
Intervention End Date
2027-04-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Having a new lease-up in an opportunity area during the first 12 months after RA
Number of months residing in an opportunity area during the first 24 months after RA (for Phase 1 report)
Number of months residing in an opportunity area during the first 36 months after RA (for Phase 2 report)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Having a new lease-up in an opportunity area at any time during the study observation period
Residing in an opportunity area at the 12-month timepoint after RA
Percent of the period from month 13 after random assignment through the last month observed that a family spends in an opportunity area
Residing in an opportunity area at some time during the first 24 months after RA (for Phase 1 report)
Residing in an opportunity area at some time during the first 36 months after RA (for Phase 2 report)
Leased up or moved with a voucher within 12 months after RA
Rental unit characteristics 12 months after RA
Census tract characteristics 12 months after RA
Housing assistance payment (HAP) 12 months after RA
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The Demonstration will have two phases of enrollment over a study period of approximately four-and-a-half years. During Phase 1 implementation—the first two years of enrollment —the sites will randomize enrolled families to either CMRS or the control business-as-usual condition. During Phase 2, which will take place over the following two and a half years, the sites will randomize enrolled families to one of three groups: CMRS, SMRS, or the control group.

The impact analysis will estimate impacts for three experimental contrasts:
o CMRS versus Control (Families enrolled in Years 1–5 after the Pilot)
o SMRS versus Control (Families enrolled in Years 3–5)
o SMRS versus CMRS (Families enrolled in Years 3–5)

Because families will be randomly assigned to the offer of SMRS only during the last two and a half years of enrollment (Phase 2), the samples of families used to estimate the impacts of SMRS—both against the control condition and against CMRS—will only include families enrolled during these two and half years.

Confirmatory Research Questions

During Phase 1, the study will have the following confirmatory research questions:

1. For voucher families with children, what is the effect of offering CMRS on moves to an opportunity area during the 12 months following random assignment?
(a) What is the effect for existing voucher families?
(b) What is the effect for waitlist families?

2. For voucher families with children, what is the effect of offering CMRS on the duration of residency in an opportunity area in the 24 months following random assignment?

During Phase 2, the study will continue with the first research question and modify the second research question to examine the duration of residency in an opportunity area over a longer time period of 36 months. In Phase 2, the study will also add three additional confirmatory research questions:

3. For voucher families with children, what is the effect of offering a particular SMRS package on moves to an opportunity area in the 12 months following random assignment?

4. For voucher families with children, what is the effect of offering a particular SMRS package on the duration of residency in an opportunity area in the 24 months following random assignment?

5. Are families offered a particular SMRS package less likely to move to an opportunity area in the 12 months following random assignment than similar families who are offered CMRS?

Secondary Research Questions

The study will also assess the impacts of being offered CMRS on a range of secondary outcomes, such as the share of new voucher recipients who use their vouchers to find a unit (in any location) and the share of existing voucher families who move (to any location). In addition, the study will examine which services appear to be most effective in facilitating moves to an opportunity area and the site- and household-level factors that appear to affect the likelihood that a family moves to an opportunity area, which may shed light on possible ways to strengthen mobility-related services in the future.

Pilot Periods

The first six months of Phase 1 and the first three months of Phase 2 will be considered pilot periods. The Study Team will decide whether to use data on households enrolled in the Demonstration during the pilot periods of each site in the impact analysis based on a site-by-site assessment of fidelity to random assignment procedures and the mobility-related services interventions. Absent a determination that a site is not implementing with fidelity during the pilot, the households that enroll in the Demonstration from that site during the pilots will be included in the analysis sample.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Household
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
10 providers of mobility-related services (one of the nine sites has separate providers of mobility-related services for the two PHAs)
Sample size: planned number of observations
15,875 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
CMRS:6,444 households
SMRS: 3,077 households
Control: 6,354 households
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We have calculated minimum detectable effects for the outcome of “new lease-up in an opportunity area in the first 12 months after random assignment” at each of the three reporting timepoints for the CMRS versus Control comparison. For existing voucher families, a new lease-up is defined as leasing-up with a voucher in a move to a new unit. For waitlist families, a new lease-up is defined as a lease-up with a voucher. The sample sizes for this 12-month outcome allow for a minimum of 6 months of follow-up after random assignment. For families with less than one year of observation since RA, the observation window will be the maximum time observed (6 to 11 months). With no adjustment for multiple comparisons, for the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Report, the minimum detectable effect for all families (CMRS n=842; Control n=828) is expected to be 4.3 percentage points. For existing voucher families (CMRS n=797; Control n=797), the minimum detectable effect is expected to be 4.4 percentage points. For waitlist families (CMRS n=45; Control n=31), the minimum detectable effect is expected to be 20.9 percentage points. With no adjustment for multiple comparisons, for the Phase 1 Impact Evaluation Report, the minimum detectable effect for all families (CMRS n=3,366; Control n=3,312) is expected to be 2.2 percentage points. For existing voucher families (CMRS n=3,186; Control n=3,186), the minimum detectable effect is expected to be 2.2 percentage points. For waitlist families (CMRS n=180; Control n=126), the minimum detectable effect is expected to be 10.3 percentage points. With no adjustment for multiple comparisons, for the Phase 2 Impact Evaluation Report, the minimum detectable effect for all families (CMRS n=6,444; Control n=6,354) is expected to be 1.6 percentage points. All of these minimum detectable effect calculations assume 80% power for a two-tailed test significant at the 10% level and that 15 percent of the control group will lease-up in opportunity areas, as was the case in CMTO (Bergman et al. 2020). If the control proportion is lower than 15 percent, the minimum detectable effect will be smaller.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Abt Associates Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2022-07-25
IRB Approval Number
2140