Affordable Housing, Community Development, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

Housing Choice Voucher Program: Successes and Challenges

Brookings Institution

A new blog post from Brookings Institution researchers Elizabeth Kneebone and Natalie Holmes examines the use of Housing Choice Vouchers across the nation. Research shows that vouchers have contributed to  a significant reduction in homelessness and overcrowding and that almost half (48%) of households utilizing vouchers in the 100 largest metro areas have found housing in the suburbs, allowing more voucher holders to live in lower poverty neighborhoods.

However, there are many barriers when it comes to increasing access to higher opportunity neighborhoods. Individuals face racial and economic segregation due to exclusionary zoning laws, non-acceptance of vouchers, rental practices and information gaps.

Using data from the American Community Survey and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, neighborhood level data was mapped for Housing Choice Vouchers (often referred to as “Section 8 vouchers”) in the nation’s major metro areas. The mapping indicates that many households using vouchers remain in communities with poverty rates that are significantly higher that the region’s overall poverty rate, indicating more needs to be done to make housing choice a true option for voucher holders.  

To read more about this topic click here.


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