Senior Policy Analyst
With Mother’s Day approaching — and the House considering cutting funding for housing assistance — we’d like to celebrate that roughly 1 million mothers use housing vouchers to help them keep a roof over their kids’ heads. But many more mothers (and other low-income people) who are in great need of housing assistance don’t receive it due to scarce funding, as
these state-by-state data
show. And the proposed cuts would make things worse.
Vouchers, the main form of federal housing assistance, help pay for housing that low-income families rent in the private market. Studies show that vouchers sharply reduce homelessness, lift more than a million people out of poverty, and enable many families to move to safer, less poor neighborhoods.
These gains, in turn, promote educational, developmental, and health benefits among children that help them succeed over the long term.
Vouchers are especially important to mothers. Nine in ten households with children receiving vouchers are headed by women. Here are just a few examples of how vouchers have helped mothers improve their families’ lives:
As we’ve explained, the House’s proposed funding bill for 2015 likely provides too little money to renew all of the vouchers in use this year — let alone restore the 40,000 vouchers that were cut last year due to sequestration and not funded this year.
At a minimum, Congress should provide enough funding to continue all of the vouchers in use and avoid reducing further the number of families receiving housing assistance. But, given the program’s proven success and the large and growing need for help, a better approach would be to expand assistance to more mothers and other vulnerable families, first by restoring the vouchers cut under sequestration.