Why Households Apply for Housing Allowances

by James C. Wendt

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This report analyzes the decision to enroll in the housing allowance program. Section II describes the steps in the enrollment process, the factors that appeared to have the greatest impact on households' decision to enroll, and the two-stage modeling of that decision. Section III explains the selection of household surveys that provided the data. The body of the report presents two statistical models that extend Ellickson's (1981) earlier formulation: (1) the acquisition of knowledge, to explain who did not know about the program and why; and (2) the decision itself, to determine who did not enroll and why. Generalizing from the results of the models, the author considers the implications for participation in a nationwide program. Finally, the policy consequences of increasing the rate of enrollment in a future program is discussed.

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