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An Evaluation of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program in Pittsburgh Using Event History Analysis

Bert, Jennifer M. (2020) An Evaluation of the Family Self-Sufficiency Program in Pittsburgh Using Event History Analysis. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s (HACP) Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program was designed to enable public housing and housing choice voucher households (HCV) to increase their household’s incomes and savings and to move toward self-sufficiency. Despite program graduates having higher incomes and escrow savings than non-graduates, HACP reported low-enrollment and high attrition rates from its FSS program. In response, HACP developed an increased minimum rent policy which raises the minimum rent for public housing households from $25 to $150 and for HCV households from $50 to $150, for work-able households, unless the household enrolls in the FSS program.
This study addresses the following research questions 1.) What are the outcomes of FSS participation? 2.) When are FSS participants most likely to leave the FSS program? 3.) What explains exit from the FSS program? This study uses administrative data from 2010 to 2017 and an event history framework to determine whether or when FSS participants leave the program and uses logistic regression to explore factors that may explain an FSS participant’s likelihood of leaving the program prior to completion.
This study found that there are significant differences in FSS program enrollment and attrition between the public housing and the HCV households. HCV households were far less likely to enroll than public housing households and once enrolled, they were far less likely to remain in the program than public housing households. This study also finds that the increased minimum rent policy was not a strong incentive for residents to enroll or remain in the FSS program. This study also did not find any seasonal effects or point in the program when participants were more likely to leave the FSS program.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bert, Jennifer M.jmb346@pitt.edujmb346
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDeitrick,
Committee MemberDougherty,
Committee MemberJones,
Committee MemberGlass,
Date: 30 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 December 2019
Approval Date: 30 January 2020
Submission Date: 14 January 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 281
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Housing Self-Sufficiency Urban Affairs
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:37
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:37


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