Rental assistance helps more than 300,000 veterans — the great majority of them poor or near poor — afford decent housing. It appears to have played a central role in the 17 percent reduction in veterans’ homelessness between 2009 and 2012, and it allows recipients to devote more of their limited resources to other basic needs, like food or medicine.
Sequestration Could Cut Housing Vouchers for as Many as 185,000 Low-Income Families by the End of 2014
Because of the sequestration cuts instituted on March 1 of this year, state and local housing agencies are facing substantial shortfalls in funding to renew the Housing Choice Vouchers that more than 2.1 million low-income households use to rent modest private-market housing at an affordable cost. If Congress does not cancel sequestration as part of an agreement to fund the government beyond January 2014, agencies will continue to face shortfalls, and the resulting hardships for low-income families will worsen considerably in the year ahead.
- Senate HUD Funding Bill Reverses Harmful Sequestration Cuts in Housing Assistance
- Most Rental Assistance Recipients Work, Are Elderly, or Have Disabilities
- National and State Housing Rental Assistance Data Fact Sheets
Costing about $70 billion a year, the mortgage interest deduction is one of the largest federal tax expenditures, but it appears to do little to achieve the goal of expanding homeownership. The main reason is that the bulk of its benefits go to higher-income households who generally could afford a home without assistance: in 2012, 77 percent of the benefits went to homeowners with incomes above $100,000. Meanwhile, more than a third of homeowners with mortgages —most of them middle- and lower-income families —receive no benefit from the deduction.
Policy Basics: Federal Rental Assistance:
Federal rental assistance enables 5 million low-income households to afford modest homes. Three major programs — Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 Project-based Rental Assistance, and Public Housing — assist about 90 percent of these households.
Policy Basics: Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance:
The Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) programs enable more than 2 million people in 1.2 million low-income households to afford modest apartments by contracting with private owners to rent some or all of the units in their housing developments to low-income families.
Policy Basics: The Housing Voucher Choice Program:
Created in the 1970s, the “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher Program has become the dominant form of federal housing assistance.
Policy Basics: Introduction to Public Housing:
Public housing is one of the nation’s three main rental assistance programs. Public housing developments provide affordable homes to 2.2 million low-income Americans.
The Center works with state and local housing agencies and advocates to improve the effectiveness of federal low-income housing programs — particularly the Housing Choice Voucher Program. We also examine the role that well-designed housing assistance programs can play in advancing goals such as reducing the concentration of poverty.
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December 6, 2013
Revised November 22, 2013
Portman Proposal for Automatic Continuing Resolutions Would Impede Appropriations Process and Could Produce Very Deep Funding Cuts
November 12, 2013
November 11, 2013
Updated November 11, 2013
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Housing Blog Posts
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October 19, 2012
- Three Evidence-Based Lessons for Future Housing Policy
June 1, 2012
- Taking Stock of the Safety Net, Part 3: Helping Families Afford Decent Housing
December 16, 2011