Moving Out of Poverty: Expanding Mobility and Choice through Tenant-Based Housing Assistance
Historically, federal housing policy has contributed to the concentration of poverty in urban America. Moving out of poverty is not the right answer for every low income family, but tenant-based housing assistance (Section 8 certificates and vouchers) has tremendous potential to help families move to healthier neighborhoods. This article explores the role of tenant-based housing assistance in addressing the problem of concentrated inner-city poverty.
The Section 8 program by itself does not ensure access to low-poverty neighborhoods, particularly for minority families. Supplementing certificates and vouchers with housing counseling and search assistance can improve their performance; a growing number of assisted housing mobility initiatives are now in place across the country. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) should continue to fund these initiatives and increase their number over time. HUD should also strengthen incentives for all housing authorities to improve locational outcomes in their Section 8 programs (Author).
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