In the 1970s, the main housing subsidy program for low income households was Public and Indian Housing, with 1.1 million units. These include Section 23 Leased Housing, which was run and reported by Public Housing Authorities. There were also a few hundred thousand units subsidized by: Rent Supplements, Sections 235 and 236 of the National Housing Act, Section 221d3 Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR), Section 202 direct loans for elderly projects, and Farmers Home Administration subsidies. Starting in 1975 there were subsidies under Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 (this section was authorized in 1974). A fairly full analysis of the situation in 1973 is in Housing in the Seventies, listed in the Bibliography. Briefer descriptions are in Programs of HUD, also in the Bibliography.
Besides these programs, welfare programs provided cash, which helped poor households pay for housing along with other expenses: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), General Assistance, and the following three (which have since been combined into Supplemental Security Income, SSI, which often pays more than those older programs did): Old Age Assistance (OAA), Aid to the Blind (AB), and Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD). As we write, AFDC and Gereral Assistance are being reformed into Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). In the 1970s, as now, the deductibility of mortgage interest on income tax forms, and capital gains tax exclusions, helped middle and upper income homeowners.