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CRS Report for Congress. Housing the Poor: Federal Programs for Low Income Families


Authors: Schussheim, Morton J.    

Report Acceptance Date: October 1998 (41 Pages)

Posted Date: March 27, 2012

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Low-income families with housing problems are found in every section of the United States. They are located in large cities like Los Angeles and New York, but also in small towns and rural areas, in colonias on the border with Mexico, and on American Indian tribal areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and elsewhere. Long-term demographic and economic trends point to an increase in the number oflow-income people with housing difficulties. Recent changes in welfare programs could accentuate these problems.

A medley offederal programs administered by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and. other agencies are intended to address housing needs. New data indicate that the only housing programs-standing alone-that reach the poorest of the poor are public housing, HUD's Section 8 and USDA's Section 521 rental assistance programs. Programs such as low-income housing tax credits and HOME grants must be pieced together with other subsidies to provide housing affordable by poverty-level families. Families requiring less deep subsidies-broadly those with incomes between 30 percent and 80 percent of area median income-are being assisted through various renter and home buyer subsidies.

This report is part of the collection of scanned historical documents available to the public.


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