Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Kathryn Howell

Second Advisor

I-Shian Suen

Third Advisor

Youngmi Kim


In June of 2015, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish a more effective Fair Market Rent System using Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) instead of the current 50th Percentile FMRs. The 50th Percentile FMR is currently in use in the Richmond, Virginia region, and the region is likely to be among early adopters of the new SAFMR System. This thesis assesses existing conditions that will affect implementation of the Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) System. First, it evaluates where voucher holders have located and concentrated with limited mobility counseling and without the SAFMR System intervention. Second, this evaluation assesses the theory of opportunity and targeting metrics currently in use by the local Move to Opportunity Program administered in the region, because the SAFMR System has a stated objective to enable voucher holders to de-concentrate from low opportunity areas. Finally, this evaluation assesses the SAFMR System’s potential for value capture, estimating total savings and a discrete number of potential new vouchers that may be created with those savings. This research attempts to answer these dimensions of SAFMR System implementation by evaluating key characteristics of current voucher holder concentration in the metropolitan region.


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