The Long Way Home

Receiving a Federal Housing Choice
Voucher Depends on Chance

A recent NPR Planet Money piece explains how housing vouchers are allocated compared to other federal social programs such as Food Stamps, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit which are provided on a need basis.

A household’s opportunity to move into an affordable housing with a voucher depends solely on chance.

“With housing though, that’s not how it works. There are far more people who qualify than actually receive help. For subsidized housing vouchers, there is often a lottery. And your chances aren’t good.”

The piece profiles a young woman living in Hartford, Connecticut and her journey in couch surfing with her children – staying in the homes of friends.

She finds employment and applies for a voucher through the West Hartford Housing Authority and ultimately secures a voucher.

But in interviewing the director of the West Hartford Housing Authority, listeners learn that when the waiting list for vouchers opened up, over 3,000 households applied in a matter of hours.

Monarch Housing is proud to be an organizer of the July 13, 2016 Congressional Reception focused on urging New Jersey’s elected officials in Washington, DC to “Stop the Cuts.” One of the key advocacy issues is increasing funding for rental housing vouchers.

Planet Money