National Evaluation of HUD’s ConnectHome Initiative
In this final report, Insight summarizes findings associated with the National Evaluation of ConnectHome, a collaborative effort of communities, the federal government, and the private sector to bring high-speed internet access to low-income families in HUD-assisted housing. This multipronged evaluation had 3 primary components: a baseline access survey, which assessed the baseline level of internet access among families with children in 22 pilot communities prior to implementing the initiative; a telephone follow-up survey, which assessed how and for what purposes residents used the internet; and case studies of participating communities including 3 focus groups per community to probe further how internet access affected residents’ lives. Results indicate that before receiving ConnectHome services, many residents connected to the internet only through a cell phone data plan and faced data limits that constrained their online activities. ConnectHome expanded the ability of these households to use the internet. After receiving ConnectHome services, residents reported many benefits to increased access, including helping their children do better in school; enhancing connection to family, friends, and community; and making it easier for them to find and apply for employment.