Affordable Housing, Community Development, Reports and Publications

Most Housing Voucher Recipients Work, Are Elderly, Or Have Disabilities


Higher housing costs drive more prolonged use of housing vouchers and the large majority of housing voucher recipients work, are elderly, or have disabilities, according to a new study from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

In 2010, 88% of all voucher households were elderly, disabled, working, had recently worked, or were likely to be subject to a work requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In addition, elderly or disabled households make up nearly half of all voucher households, a significant increase over the past decade, according to the study.

Of the voucher households that were not elderly or disabled, three-fourths either participate in other programs that have work requirements or work. The study also finds that households use voucher assistance longer if they live in a higher-cost rental market. Non-elderly, non-disabled households in low-cost areas were only about half as likely as similar households in high-cost areas to have received assistance for five years or more. In addition, non-elderly, non-disabled households in high-cost areas that received vouchers assistance for more than five years were more likely to work than other voucher holders, according to the study.

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