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Cityscape: Volume 17 Number 1 | Article 10


Housing Discrimination Today

Volume 17, Number 3

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

What Happens to Housing Assistance Leavers?

Robin E. Smith
DeBruce Foundation

Susan J. Popkin
Urban Institute

Taz George
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Jennifer Comey
Washington, D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Refereed Papers
Refereed papers that appear in
Cityscape have undergone a thorough and timely double-blind review by highly qualified referees. The managing editor reviews submitted manuscripts or outlines of proposed papers to determine their suitability for inclusion in this section. To submit a manuscript or outline, send an e-mail to


To assess whether federal housing assistance can encourage asset building and self-sufficiency, we need to know why households leave housing assistance and how they fare on their own. As a group, housing assistance leavers appear to be doing better than those still in public housing or receiving rent subsidies; they have higher incomes, are more likely to be married, and live in lower poverty, safer communities. Dividing unassisted households into those who left housing assistance for negative reasons and those who left for positive reasons highlights how those leaving for negative reasons are worse off and how those leaving for positive reasons are struggling. Such findings suggest the need for targeted approaches to support both groups.

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