Moving to Opportunity, or Aging in Place? The Changing Profile of HUD-Subsidized Households
Posted: 10 Apr 2020
Date Written: February 17, 2020
The demographics of households receiving rental assistance has changed over time, yet much of the policy and political dialogue has not. Understanding the changing profile of subsidized households is important when evaluating the role of rental subsidies in alleviating cost burdens, determining outcomes associated with mobility-focused versus place-based housing assistance, and applying concepts of neighborhood opportunity to both. This paper analyzes how the composition of subsidized households has changed over time and across subsidy programs, and how this relates to concepts of neighborhood opportunity. We find that since 2000, the share of subsidized renters who were seniors grew, while the share with children dropped. In particular, households using vouchers used to be young relative to the general population and households in other rental assistance programs but have aged rapidly. We also find that current definitions of “neighborhood opportunity” are not well equipped to accommodate these changes and propose alternative metrics.
Keywords: aging, subsidized housing, vouchers, neighborhood opportunity, mobility
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