Sequestration’s Rising Toll: 100,000 Fewer Low-Income Families Have Housing Vouchers

Following the sequestration funding cuts in 2013, most state and local housing agencies had no choice but to sharply reduce the number of families receiving housing vouchers. By December 2013, agencies were assisting about 70,000 fewer families than they had a year earlier, and the cuts continued to deepen during the first half of 2014: by June, agencies were assisting approximately 100,000 fewer families.



Creating Opportunity for Children:
How Housing Location Can Make a Difference

Nearly 4 million children live in families that receive federal rental assistance. This assistance not only helps these families to afford decent, stable housing and make ends meet, but it also has the potential to enable their children to grow up in better neighborhoods and thereby enhance their chances of long-term health and success.

Historically, however, federal rental assistance programs have fallen short in helping families live in neighborhoods that provide these opportunities.



Chart Book: Federal Housing Spending Is Poorly Matched to Need

The federal government spent $270 billion in 2012 to help Americans buy or rent homes, but little of that spending went to the families who struggle the most to afford housing.




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.

Featured Experts

  1. Will Fischer

    Will Fischer

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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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