Effects of Housing Vouchers on Welfare Families
This report presents the final analysis of a study conducted over several years to measure the impacts of Housing Choice Vouchers on the housing mobility of low-income families, the characteristics of their neighborhoods, the composition of their households, their employment, earnings, participation in education and training, their receipt of public assistance, their poverty and material hardship, and the well-being of their children. The analysis, based on a six-site research sample of 8,731 families, uses an experimental design and makes use of outcome measures derived from tract-level Census data, person-level administrative data, and a follow-up survey. The impact estimates in this report encompass a follow-up period that is sixteen quarters in duration for all sites, and longer for some sites. Augmenting the experimental findings are insights from intensive interviews with a sample of 141 families.
This research was undertaken to evaluate the Welfare to Work Voucher (WtWV) program, initiated in Fiscal Year 1999 when Congress appropriated $283 million for tenant-based rental assistance to help families to make the transition from welfare to work. This appropriation funded 50,000 new rental assistance vouchers (P.L. 105-276). The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded these vouchers to local and state housing agencies (HAs) that presented reasonable plans for matching up eligible families with the available housing assistance and for coordinating these efforts with existing welfare reform and welfare-to-work efforts.