Category: Program design

Change first or help first?

18 July, 2012 (09:31) | Homelessness, Housing, Los Angeles, Program design, Social impact bonds, Social programs, Supportive housing, US News |

By:David A. Smith   When it comes to people whom we wish to help with government or charitable resources so that they can change their lives, should we make them prove it first or should we give it first?    Is this a good idea?   That question lies underneath the design choices within many […]

The four levels of program definition: Part 2

20 December, 2005 (10:14) | Housing, Legislation and policy, LIHTC, Program design, Regulation |

[Continued from Part 1]   In Part 1, I dealt with statutes and regulations.  Once they are in place, we move to the next two levels: administrative guidance and case decisions.   3.         Administrative guidance   Now that our hypothetical program is up and running, there’s one more level of detail to prescribe: administrative guidance.  […]

The four levels of program definition: Part 1

19 December, 2005 (12:34) | Housing, Legislation and policy, LIHTC, Program design, Regulation |

When we talk about a housing program, what do we mean? Where and how is a program defined? “There are four levels of program definition than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Hamlet, as published for comment “Alas, poor Yorick, I blogged him, Horatio.” A program is defined in four levels: Laws, big-picture rules and […]

Data paradox, Part 2: who pays for free data?

13 December, 2005 (15:06) | Databases, Housing, Program design |

In a previous post, I laid out three data paradoxes:   Information is more broadly valuable when it is freely available. Useful data is costly to assemble. There is no viable business model for public data dissemination. “Doctor, if I stop reading blogs, will I live?” “No.”   Given these harsh realities, how do we […]

The data paradox

12 December, 2005 (15:15) | Databases, Housing, Program design |

In a public-policy context, data availability and reliability is a paradox:   “I can’t believe he’s starting off with that hoary pun.”   In affordable housing, as in many areas of public policy, effective program design depends on having quality information available to policy-makers, and that leads us to the first data paradox:   “What […]