Randomized Control Trial to Evaluate the Effect of Security Deposit Assistance
Our project will evaluate whether mitigating risk for landlords can improve housing stability and access to high-opportunity neighborhoods for people with low incomes and poor credit, a criminal record, or a recent eviction. To do so, we will use a randomized control trial in Kalamazoo, Michigan in which treatment and control households will receive vouchers that offer different levels of risk mitigation to landlords that rent to them. We will use the voucher redemption process to observe unit locations and characteristics, rent, and time taken to use the voucher. We will also elicit landlords’ cash valuation of the benefit. The W.E. Upjohn Institute and the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities at the University of Notre Dame are collaborating on this evaluation in partnership with the City of Kalamazoo and Housing Resources Inc. (HRI), a Kalamazoo County housing nonprofit.