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CBPP: Where Families With Children Use Housing Vouchers

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, the nation’s largest federal rental assistance program, assists over 5 million people in 2.2 million low-income households. Vouchers help these families afford decent, stable housing, avoid homelessness, and make ends meet.

When implemented properly, vouchers can give low-income families real choices about where to live — including the chance to live in lower-poverty, higher-opportunity neighborhoods — and help public housing agencies meet their legal obligation to address housing discrimination and segregation.

A new major analysis examines the location of families with children using vouchers in all U.S. metropolitan areas and in the 50 largest metro areas and finds few metropolitan families with children using vouchers live in low-poverty neighborhoods, despite the presence of affordable units.

In addition, most families with children using vouchers, including most families of color, live in what HUD terms “minority-concentrated” neighborhoods.

Considering these findings, the Housing Choice Voucher program should provide low-income families — particularly those with young children — the chance to live in high-opportunity, lower-poverty neighborhoods, if they wish to do so.


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