Does Housing Assistance Perversely Affect Self-Sufficiency? A Review Essay
46 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2003
Date Written: September 19, 2002
We review the literature on indirect effects of housing assistance in the US on the self-sufficiency of assisted families. The primary issue is whether housing assistance perversely undermines the upward mobility of families.
I find the following: Housing assistance is not persuasively associated with any effect on employment. Evidence on human capital accumulation remains conflicting and fragmentary. However, a strong association with single-adult household formation exists. The project-basing of assistance distorts the neighborhood choice of at least 9 or 15 percent of households in high-poverty housing projects, depending on the counterfactual; early experimental results suggest significant bad consequences for the lives of boys.
Keywords: housing assistance, employment, human capital, welfare, neighborhood
JEL Classification: H53, I38, R20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation