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Housing Programs for Low-Income Households

Housing Programs for Low-Income Households

(p.365) 6 Housing Programs for Low-Income Households
Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States
Edgar O. Olsen
University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews the complex mix of housing programs for low-income families in the United States. The objectives of the study are to (a) consider the arguments that have been offered for housing subsidies to low-income households and the implications of valid arguments for the evaluation and design of housing programs; (b) describe the most important features of the largest rental housing programs for low-income households in the United States; (c) summarize the empirical evidence on the major effects of these programs; and (d) analyze the most important options for reform of the system of housing subsidies to low-income households. The effects of these programs to be considered include: effects on the housing occupied by recipients of the subsidy and their consumption of other goods; effects on labor supply of recipients, the participation rates of different types of households, the distribution of benefits among recipients and all eligible households; effects on the types of neighborhoods in which subsidized households live, and of subsidized housing and households on their neighbors; and effects on the rents of unsubsidized units and the cost-effectiveness of alternative methods for delivering housing assistance.

Keywords:   housing programs, low-income families, housing subsidies, consumption, labor supply

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