Housing Vouchers Most Effective Tool to End Family Homelessness

Providing More Vouchers Would End Homelessness

Housing Vouchers Most Effective Tool to End Family HomelessnessThe U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Family Option Study was the subject of two recent blog posts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and The Hill.

Both blog posts make use the critical findings in this report to make the case for increased voucher funding and President’s budget proposal to fund the restoration of the 67,000 vouchers cut due to sequestration and target a large portion to homeless families.

The HUD study found that compared to families in homeless shelters that received no extra help under the study, families given vouchers were:

  • 56 percent less likely to experience another episode of homelessness;
  • 55 percent less likely to report incidents of domestic violence; and
  • 42 percent less likely to have their children placed in foster care or temporarily housed with other family members.

 “Housing Choice Vouchers are the most effective tool to help homeless families with children find and keep stable housing … These findings should spur Congress to fund more vouchers for homeless families …”

CBPP’s Douglas Rice writes.

“These results ‘provide support for the view that, for most families, homelessness is a housing affordability problem that can be remedied with permanent housing subsidies without specialized homeless-specific psychosocial services,’ the study notes. Thus, the study reinforces other research showing that housing vouchers provide the most direct and effective way to address family homelessness.”

Writes Rice as he continues to make the case for increased voucher funding.

“These findings are striking and provide clear evidence about the best policies to help homeless families. Permanent vouchers for housing cost only 5 percent more over 20 months than leaving families to fend for themselves– and reduced the costs to the families, who experience the long-lasting toll and broad ramifications of homelessness. Housing programs such as vouchers should be used more extensively for people who experience homelessness.”

Wrote Jill Khadduri and Marybeth Shinn, who authored The Hill’s blog post of the study,

“But we already know that ending homelessness – especially for families – is a challenge of housing affordability that can be remedied. What’s needed are permanent housing subsidies. The benefits of providing them will extend far beyond the walls of the house.”

Khadduri and Shinn conclude.

Click here for the CBPP blog post.

Click here for The Hill blog post.