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CRITICAL CHALLENGES

  • Federal housing assistance only serves about one of every four eligible households, and an estimated

    • 12.4

      million low-income renters face serious housing problems without any assistance.

      • The primary problem these unassisted households face is affordability, with rents rising faster than incomes for low-wage workers.

  • A disproportionate share of the subsidized stock is concentrated in distressed neighborhoods, where jobs are scarce, schools perform poorly, and crime and violence are common.

  • Neither federal policy nor local practice is taking full advantage of opportunities to link housing assistance with services to improve outcomes for children or encourage family economic success. OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT

At the federal level

  • Help raise the visibility of rental housing issues on the national policy agenda and encourage debate about the federal role and scale of assistance.

  • Support legislation that builds on lessons from HOPE VI, targeting resources to replace distressed and overly concentrated public housing with mixed-income developments, while preserving affordable options for low-income households and protecting the hard to house.

  • Ensure that any expansion of the Moving to Work initiative that allows further experimentation with housing subsidy formulas and occupancy rules requires rigorous evaluation to assess the impacts on family well-being and economic success.

  • Explore opportunities to expand funding for programs that link housing assistance with support services both for families’ economic success and children’s well-being.

At the state and local levels

  • Encourage regulatory reforms that permit and encourage more affordable rental housing construction in opportunity-rich communities.

  • Support state and local initiatives that make low-wage workers better able to afford housing, including minimum wage laws and supplemental earned income tax credits.

  • Support the expansion of state and local funding for affordable housing preservation and production, including creation of housing trust funds.

  • Support innovative local strategies for deconcentrating public and assisted housing, including both project-based and tenant-based strategies.

  • Help build rigorous monitoring and evaluation into any local experimentation with assisted housing subsidy formulas or occupancy rules.

  • Encourage local adoption of best practices for support services that can be linked to assisted housing.

At the neighborhood level

  • Help improve and expand services for residents of particular projects, including work readiness, job training, and job retention services.

  • Support mobility counseling and housing search assistance to enable voucher recipients to move to safe, opportunity-rich neighborhoods.

  • Support the development and operation of high-quality supportive housing for the most vulnerable residents of public and assisted housing.

  • Participate in the design and implementation of local public housing demolition and redevelopment projects so they enhance the well-being of current and future residents.

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