Housing vouchers mostly move families into impoverished neighborhoods, even when better apartments exist elsewhere

Housing vouchers mostly move families into impoverished neighborhoods, even when better apartments exist elsewhere, Tracy Jan, Washington Post, January 3, 2019, available here

Your neighborhood determines the quality of your children’s schools and your access to jobs, transportation, even fresh food.

But a new study found that in nearly all 50 of America’s biggest metropolitan areas, low-income families using federal housing vouchers remain overly concentrated in impoverished, racially segregated neighborhoods with little opportunity — even with plenty of affordable apartments available in higher income neighborhoods.

The difference between where families with vouchers could be living and where they actually live has long-term consequences, said researchers with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council.

“It’s going to be a wake-up call for a lot of housing authorities that their programs are quite concentrated and don’t necessarily reflect where families want to live,” said Philip Tegeler, president and executive director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council. “There are plenty of rental opportunities out there. It’s the job of housing authorities to help remove the barriers that are keeping families from accessing these neighborhoods and communities.”

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