“Tenant-based housing assistance was born in part from the idea that neighborhood conditions affect individual well-being and shape life chances. A goal of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is to avoid concentrations of poverty typical of some public housing projects, and to permit assisted households to gain access to a wider range of higher-quality neighborhoods than they would have reached without the voucher, or if they have been offered a place-based housing unit. A persistent concern for policymakers is whether voucher holders do in fact live in “good” or lower-poverty areas than they would have lived in without a voucher. This paper reviews the evidence on neighborhood location outcomes for voucher holders in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), where over three-quarters of all voucher holders live (Devine et al. 2003; Galvez forthcoming[a]). Included is a discussion of how outcomes are defined and how voucher holders’ location outcomes compare to threshold poverty-rate expectations, other poor households, and to assisted housing units. Also included is a review of the qualitative literature on location outcomes, which speaks to how voucher holders search for housing and make location decisions.”
What Do We Know About Housing Choice Voucher Program Location Outcomes?: A Review of Recent Literature
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