Published March 25, 2022
Congratulations to Associate Professor Kelly Patterson and her colleagues on the publication of their article, "It is not always sunny in San Diego for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders: The reproduction of racial and socioeconomic segregation under the Choice Communities Initiative" in the Journal of Policy Practice and Research.
Patterson, K. L., Silverman, R. M., Wang, C. (2021). It’s not always sunny in San Diego for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) holders: The reproduction of racial and socioeconomic segregation under the Choice Communities Initiative. Journal of Policy Practice and Research, 2(2), 76-89.
This article examines residential mobility patterns of housing choice voucher (HCV) holders in San Diego, CA. It focuses on whether HCV holders moved to higher opportunity ZIP codes following the adoption of the Choice Communities Initiative by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) in 2018. This initiative was designed to incentivize moves to high opportunity ZIP codes using tiered rent subsidies. The analysis is based on a dataset that combines two sources. One includes data obtained from the SDHC measuring: race, ethnicity, gender, household characteristics, rent subsidy levels, and residential mobility for 11,126 HCV recipients. The other includes small area fair market rents (SAFMRs) for ZIP codes in San Diego. Data were analyzed using GIS maps and logistic regression. The results indicate that patterns of racial and socioeconomic segregation have been reinforced in San Diego. Most HCV moves happened within the lowest opportunity ZIP codes, regardless of races. Moves to higher opportunity ZIP codes were impeded due to the inversion of rent subsidies. Rent subsidies were set relatively higher in low opportunity ZIP codes when compared with high opportunity ZIP codes. The findings identify areas where specific policies related to the setting of rent subsidies can be strengthened in order to promote opportunity moves. In a broader context, they highlight the importance of fidelity to programmatic goals in the policy implementation process.