Fair Market Rents (FMRs) form the basis for housing subsidy payment levels throughout the United States. From 1992 to 2006, ICF conducted annual telephone surveys to estimate the market cost of rental housing in urban and nonurban geographic markets across the country in order to set these FMRs. For these years, random digit dialing (RDD) was the ideal sample source and telephone the ideal mode for collecting this information. However, changes in how we communicate, such as increased reliance on cell phones, has made it necessary to re-examine how best to collect FMR-related data.
In 2011, ICF is evaluating several different survey protocols, sample sources, and data collection modes for the FMR surveys, which involves comparing the performance (efficiency and validity) of RDD- and address-based samples and analyzing the potential benefit of adding protocol elements, such as pre-survey notification letters, an Internet response option, and postcard survey reminders.
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