Does Housing Assistance Perversely Affect Self-Sufficiency? A Review Essay

Posted: 27 Jan 2003

See all articles by Mark D. Shroder

Mark D. Shroder

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Position given for identification purposes only. The Department of HUD is not responsible for any opinions expressed in this publication.

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Abstract

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

Shroder, Mark D., Does Housing Assistance Perversely Affect Self-Sufficiency? A Review Essay. Journal of Housing Economics, Vol. 11, No. 4, December 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=373860

Mark D. Shroder (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Position given for identification purposes only. The Department of HUD is not responsible for any opinions expressed in this publication. ( email )

451 Seventh Street SW
Washington, DC 20230
United States

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