It points out the downsides to having several independent agencies administering housing vouchers in a single market area. Housing choice vouchers are more cost effective than investing in construction to build affordable housing but in a time where funding is being cut everywhere, improvements to the system could help HUD dollars go further.
Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) administer the majority of housing vouchers throughout the nation but depending on the area, there are often multiple PHAs within one metropolitan area. When this occurs, there is often a redundancy in efforts, i.e. each PHA maintains its own wait list, has its own applications, and does its own landlord recruiting.
There are 2,338 PHAs nationwide that administer housing voucher programs, 1,506 of which are in metro areas. East of these PHAs administer anywhere from 96,000 vouchers to 5 vouchers.
Evidence shows that the underutilization of resources could be better allocated to create more housing vouchers. To address this shortfall, Brookings recommends:
Streamlining housing voucher delivery; and
Incentivizing PHAs by creating a process that will evaluate and award voucher program operations to one organization that can administer the program throughout an entire metropolitan area.