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Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment on the Quality Control for Rental Assistance Subsidy Determinations

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Office of Policy Development and Research, HUD.




The proposed information collection requirement described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Department is soliciting public comments on the subject proposal.


Comments Due Date: October 3, 2003.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Reports Liaison Officer, Office of Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 8226, Washington, DC 20410.

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Joseph P. Riley, Director, Economic Market Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street, SW., Room 8222, Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-708-9426, extension 5861 (This is not a toll-free number). Copies of the proposed forms and other available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Mr. Riley.

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The Department will submit the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended).

This Notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including if the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology that will reduce respondent burden (e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses).

This Notice also provides the following information:

Title of Proposal: Quality Control for Rental Assistance Subsidy Determinations.

Description of the Need for Information and Proposed Use: The Department is conducting under contract a study to update its estimates of the extent and type of errors associated with income, rent, and subsidy determinations for the 4.4 million households covered by Public Housing and Section 8 housing subsidies. The Quality Control process involves selecting a nationally representative sample of assisted households to measure the extent and types of errors in rent and income determinations, which in turn cause subsidy errors. On-site tenant interviews, file reviews, third-party income verifications, and income matching with other Federal data are conducted. The data obtained are used to identify the most serious problems and their associated costs. HUD program offices are then responsible for designing and implementing corrective actions. In addition to providing current estimates of error, results will be compared with those from the 2000 study. These comparisons will indicate whether corrective actions initiated since the 2000 study have been effective and if changes in priorities are needed.

The first QC study found that about one-half of the errors measured using Start Printed Page 45842on-site tenant interviews and file reviews could not be detected with the 500\58/50059 form data collected by the Department, which is why HUD and other agencies with means-tested programs have determined that on-site reviews and interviews are an essential complement to remote monitoring measures. The 2000 study showed that the calculation errors detectable with 50058/50059 data had further decreased, probably because this data was increasingly subject to automated computational checks.

This study will provide current information on the quality of tenant interviewing (e.g., whether they are they being asked about all sources of income) and the reliability of eligibility determinations and income verification. Legislation passed in 2002 requires that the Department report on the error measurements annually. A 2003 study is being completed, and this proposed data collection approval is for the next three studies.

Members of the Affected Public: Recipients of Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Assistance subsidies.

Estimation of the Total Number of Houses Needed With Those Surveyed to Conduct the Information Collection, Including Number of Respondents, Frequency of Response, and Hours of Response: The researchers will survey approximately 550 PHA/program sponsor staff about (re)certification procedures, training, interview procedures, and problems encountered in conducting (re)certifications. Although more than one staff member may need to be contacted to obtain answers to all questions, the questionnaire will be administered once at each participating project and the interviews are expected to take less than 35 minutes. Researchers will survey approximately 3,000 program participants to obtain information on household composition, expenses, and income. the time required for these interviews will vary, but is estimated to require an average of about 50 minutes per interview.

The time estimates provided are based on the 2000 QC survey. This survey will again make use of Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI) questionnaires and equipment, which are being used in part because they are known to reduce interview times. This software also provides for consistency checks and ensures that all needed data have been collected, thereby reducing the need for follow-up contacts.

Status of the Proposed information Collection: Pending OMB approval.

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Authority: Section 3506 of the paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

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Dated: July 29, 2003.

Alberto F. Treviño,

Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.

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[FR Doc. 03-19793 Filed 8-1-03; 8:45 am]