Subsidized Rental Housing Programs in the U.S.

A Case of Rising Expectations

Authored by: Kirk McClure

The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138188433
eBook ISBN: 9781315642338
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



The goals served by U.S. subsidized rental housing programs have expanded and evolved over time. These programs initially followed a single strategy of attaching subsidy to units for low-income occupancy, but the federal government shifted to a twin strategy of sponsoring both supply-side programs and demand-side programs simultaneously. Changes in the form of the housing affordability problem brought about the shift in strategy; housing needs have evolved from filling a shortage of units to resolving housing cost affordability problems. With the change in strategy came changes in the expectations for these programs, which are now expected to go beyond the provision of affordable shelter to providing access to high-opportunity neighborhoods, helping to break the cycle of poverty. If the programs are to achieve their potential, reforms are needed to the two active programs. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program needs to adopt more rigor in its site selection, adding units only where units are needed and placed well. The Housing Choice Voucher program needs to adopt procedures that can facilitate the dispersal of households out of concentrated poverty and into high-opportunity neighborhoods.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.