Skip to main content

Cityscape: Volume 16 Number 2 | Article 15


Form Follows Families: Evolution of U.S. Affordable Housing Design and Construction

Volume 16, Number 2

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Chile’s New Rental Housing Subsidy and Its Relevance to U.S. Housing Choice Voucher Program Reform

Lauren M. Ross
Danilo Pelletiere
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. government.

Foreign Exchange
Foreign Exchange, a department of
Cityscape, reports on what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation has learned about new departures in housing and development policy in cities and suburbs throughout the world that might have value if applied in U.S. communities. If you have a recent research report or article of fewer than 2,000 words to share in a forthcoming issue of Cityscape, please send a one-paragraph abstract to

Until recently, rental housing policy was largely absent throughout South America as governments widely supported homeownership. Amid growing recommendations for rental sector interventions in South America, at the start of the 2014, Chile was the first country in South America to adopt a national rental subsidy program—one aimed at making rental housing more affordable to low- and moderate-income young families. This article presents an overview of Chile’s rental program and its relevance for U.S. rental subsidy reform. Chile’s program consists of a flat-rate, time-limited subsidy that offers a degree of administrative simplicity and payment flexibility for tenants facing income volatility. In the United States, policymakers have flirted with building these program elements into the United States’ longstanding Housing Choice Voucher Program. Although the Chilean and U.S. rental subsidy models operate within different contexts, as discussed in the article, a close examination of Chile’s implementation and outcomes has the potential to inform U.S. rental housing policy reform. The authors also address the unique opportunity for monitoring and evaluation offered by Chile’s program.

Previous Article   |   Next Article


image of city buildings