Westat offers a wide range of survey research, program evaluation, and technical assistance services to help our clients select and implement effective housing programs that make the best use of available resources. We have designed and implemented studies of public housing and rental assistance, supportive services for special-needs populations, environmental risk assessment, neighborhood and community revitalization, and home ownership programs.
Evaluation of the HOPE for Elderly Independence Demonstration Program
A multimodal approach was used for Westat's Evaluation of the HOPE for Elderly Independence Demonstration Program, which integrated Section 8 housing assistance, case management, and personal care services for frail, low-income elderly persons. Conducted under the sponsorship of HUD, the full project included the following:
- Baseline and followup telephone surveys of approximately 400 program participants and a 400-member comparison group;
- Interviews with case managers and agency administrators;
- Site visits; and
- Abstracts of program records.
Housing Choice Voucher Tenant Accessibility
Westat completed a Housing Choice Voucher Tenant Accessibility project that studied the difficulties of people with physical disabilities participating in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This project used the methodologies of case studies, literature reviews, and data analyses. The Housing Choice Voucher Tenant Accessibility project included interviews of tenants by mail and focus groups. Westat is currently assessing the Office of Public and Indian Housing's homeownership program and making recommendations to improve the program.
National Evaluations of Two of HUD's Largest Community Development Programs
Westat designed and conducted national evaluations of two of HUD's largest community development programs as a subcontractor: the Community Development Block Grant Program and the HOME Investment Partnership Program. To provide a comprehensive picture of program impact and operations, these multifaceted evaluations included several mail, telephone, and in-person surveys of representative samples of projects, agency officials, nonprofit organizations, households, businesses, and other groups affected by the programs.
Westat's work in the area of lead hazards has included two national surveys of lead-based paint hazards in housing, a lead unit hazard reduction cost estimate, an assessment of exposure to lead in child-care centers and other nonresidential structures, and the analysis of data on lead levels in soil. Our staff has performed the following:
- Produced technical guidance documents on lead contamination of various media (e.g., soil, water, and dust);
- Reviewed organization cost structures and expenditures and developed a regression model for estimating lead remediation costs in units;
- Developed risk communication materials for the general public;
- Designed a series of examinations to certify lead inspectors;
- Evaluated training programs designed to train janitors and others to work safely around lead paint; and
- Designed a protocol for measuring the blood lead levels of children living in remediated housing.