Section 8 and Movement to Job Opportunity: Experience after Welfare Reform in Kansas City
This research addresses the extent to which tenant-based rental assistance, before and after welfare reform, helps households move to areas with greater opportunities for employment. It was thought that the threat of losing their welfare benefits would encourage participants in the Section 8 program to use the mobility it offers to move to neighborhoods with greater opportunities for employment.
Two samples of Section 8 program participants, one taken before welfare reform and the other taken after it was enacted, have been examined. With the strong economy after welfare reform, more Section 8 households are employed and fewer are on welfare. However, the analysis finds that, independent of welfare reform, households did not use their housing subsidy to move to areas with greater opportunities for employment. Program participants typically remained in racially concentrated areas of the central city, away from those neighborhoods with job growth or large numbers of jobs. (Author)
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