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The experimental housing allowance program bases its payments to participants partly on the marketwide "standard cost of adequate housing." The schedule of standard costs has been revised several times to compensate for inflation. This Note's analysis of rent inflation in St. Joseph County provides the empirical basis for the fourth such revision since the program began early in 1975. The study's purposes were to estimate how much gross rents in St. Joseph County changed between November 1974 and July 1978 and to determine whether the program itself contributed significantly to rent inflation. Preliminary estimates from this study were used to adjust benefit levels for program participants in January 1980; the final estimates are reported here and compared with the preliminary ones. The study also concludes that raising allowance entitlements to compensate for past inflation is unlikely to cause further rent inflation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.