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TABLE 2 Renters and Renter Families with Children, Assistance and Housing Problem Status, 2005

Households with Housing Needs

Total

Total

Assisted

Unassisted with problems

Unassisted, no problems

Renters (millions) > 80% of median Low income 50–80% of median 30–50% of median 0–30% of median

34.0 10.4 23.6 7.5 6.3 9.7

Percent of renters Low income 50–80% of median 30–50% of median 0–30% of median

100 69 22 19 29

Renter families with children (millions)

12.3

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2007a).

  • >

    50% of median

30–50% of median 0–30% of median

Families with children as percent of renters

  • >

    50% of median

30–50% of median 0–30% of median

32 42 39

20.7 2.8 18.0 3.8 5.2 8.9

5.8 2.7 3.8

36

100 87 18 25 43

8.2 2.4 2.2 3.6

40 37 43 40

100

100

85

88

15

20

19

28

50

40

6.5

14.2

1.0

1.8

5.5

12.4

1.0

2.8

1.3

4.0

3.3

5.6

39

40

39

36

42

43

38

41

2.6

5.6

0.8

1.6

0.5

1.7

1.3

2.3

13.2 7.6 5.6 3.7 1.1 0.8

100 42 28

9 6

4.1 3.4 0.4 0.2

31 30 39 29

sidized projects keep lists, and households in need can put their names on multiple lists. In addition, most PHAs and private providers close their wait- ing lists when they exceed the number of units likely to become available within the next two or three years. These lists are then briefly opened to accept new applications and only occasionally purged to delete the names of people who have left the area, are no longer eligible, or have found some other solution.

Considerable information is available about the demographic characteristics of households served by HUD’s three deep, gap-filling subsidy programs (table 3). In 2007, 1.05 million lived in public housing, 1.97 million received vouchers, and 1.29 million lived in privately owned subsidized units—a total of 4.30 million.9 This number falls considerably below the 6.5 million eligibles shown in the “assisted column” as of 2005 on the earlier table, probably because many families benefiting under one of the shallower subsidy programs (like LIHTC) iden- tify themselves as being “assisted.”10

All three deep-subsidy programs target assistance to the poorest households among those eligible. About three-quarters of the beneficiaries are extremely low income, and 90 percent (or more) are very low income. Mean annual incomes fall in a narrow range between $11,056 (privately owned subsidized hous- ing) and $12,715 (public housing). Other characteris- tics, however, show some differences of note. Families with children make up a larger share of voucher holders (54 percent) than of public housing residents (41 percent) or residents in privately owned subsidized projects (33 percent). In the privately owned projects, elderly and disabled people account for the largest share of residents. The racial/ethnic mix is similar for public housing residents and voucher holders, with African Americans constituting the largest share (46 and 43 percent, respectively), followed by whites (29 and 36 percent, respectively), and Hispanics con- stituting considerably smaller shares (23 and 17 per- cent, respectively). In contrast, half the residents of privately owned subsidized projects are white, and only a third are African American.11

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