Affordable Housing, Community Development, Homelessness, Reports and Publications

Report Recommends Housing Choice Voucher Program Improvements

Brookings Institution

A new report by the Brookings Institution points out the downsides to having several independent agencies administering housing vouchers in a single market area. Housing choice vouchers have been shown time and again to be more cost effective than investing in construction to build affordable housing but in a time where funding is being cut everywhere, improvements to the system could help HUD dollars go further.

Public Housing Authorities administer the majority of housing vouchers throughout the nation but depending on the area, there are often multiple PHA’s within one metropolitan area. When this occurs, there is often a redundancy in efforts, i.e. each PHA maintains its own wait list, has its own applications, and does its own landlord recruiting. There are 2,338 PHAs nationwide that administer housing voucher programs, 1,506 of which are in metro areas. East of these PHAs administer anywhere from 96,000 vouchers to 5 vouchers.

There is an abundance of evidence that points to the underutilization of resources which could be better allocated to create more housing vouchers. To address this shortfall, Brookings has recommended streamlining housing voucher delivery. Additionally, Brookings suggests incentivizing PHAs by creating a process that will evaluate and award voucher program operations to one organization that can administer the program throughout an entire metropolitan area.

Read the full report: Invest but Reform, Streamline Administration of the Housing Choice Voucher Program


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