Affordable Housing, Community Development, Federal News, Reports and Publications

Housing Spotlight – Federally Assisted Housing Disparities

National Low Income Housing Coalition

Federal housing programs are utilized by many households earning less than $20,000 a year and many of those households include elderly persons, children and members with disabilities, making these programs an invaluable resource that assists those with greatest need.  According to a new report, public housing tenants are more likely than households served by other federal housing programs to live in neighborhoods with a high poverty rate (40% and higher).

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) new report – Housing Spotlight: Who Lives in Federally Assisted Housing? – assesses data available from the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) database which provides household level data on tenants participating in five of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s largest programs, public housing, Project-Based Section 8, Section 202, Section 811 and Housing Choice Vouchers.

Other findings from the report:

  • Households that include at least one member with a disability account for 28% of voucher recipients.
  • The elderly comprise of 46% of all households living in Project-Based Section 8 units.
  • 35% of families living in public housing include children under 18.
  • Black and Hispanic households living in public housing are four times more likely than white public housing households to live in high poverty census tracts
  • Voucher holders are more likely to live in lower poverty census tracts (less than 20%).
  • 68% of white voucher holders and 45% of black voucher holders live in low poverty neighborhoods while just 4% of white households and 12% of black households with vouchers live in high poverty neighborhoods.

NLIHC recommends resources for federal housing program beneficiaries that can assist them with finding other housing such as the Rental Assistance Demonstration and the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. The report also discusses the need for housing policy reform to address the overall shortage of affordable housing.

Read the full report here.

Click here to access the Public Use Microdata Sample and associated data dictionaries.


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