The Dream Revisited
Discussion 8: Neighborhoods, Opportunities, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program

Discussion 8: Neighborhoods, Opportunities, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program

October 2014

The eighth discussion in The Dream Revisited explores how the federal Housing Choice Voucher program can most effectively improve social, educational, and economic opportunities for voucher recipients. 

Essay

  • Children and Housing Vouchers

    by Barbara Sard, Phillip Tegeler

    Ideally, our federal rental housing programs should give low income children and their families the opportunity to live in safe, healthy neighborhoods with access to high performing schools.  However, our housing programs are not currently well-structured to achieve this goal.  The unbalanced distribution of subsidized housing for families is partly a historical legacy of segregation, but it also results from ongoing policies and program structures.

Discussants

  • Children and Housing Vouchers: A Policymaker’s Perspective

    by Sandra B. Henriquez

    The authors underscore the potential value of a reformed Housing Choice Voucher program in helping families move to more enriching neighborhoods.  When considered together, the evidence suggests that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may be missing a significant opportunity. The proposed reforms have merit and many could be incorporated into the voucher program.  However, advocates have the luxury of not having to balance their reform positions with the realities of the funding, operation, and administration of the voucher program itself. 

  • Children and Housing Vouchers: A Practitioner’s Perspective

    by Stephen Norman

    There is little question that low income children’s futures can be significantly improved by access to housing in safe, healthy neighborhoods. Public Housing Authorities, organizations whose mission in significant part revolves around successful long term outcomes for the 2.7 million low income children they house, fully subscribe to this goal. From the practitioner’s perspective, however, the challenges and the solutions to accomplishing this are more complex and nuanced than they may appear from the national policy and advocacy level.

  • Why Don’t More Voucher Holders Escape Poor Neighborhoods?

    by Stephanie DeLuca

    In theory, voucher holders still have available affordable housing options to choose from across a large portion of a metropolitan area, pending landlord approval. Yet research on the residential destinations of voucher holders shows that what happens in practice is different. Why? In-depth interviews and fieldwork with hundreds of families reveal that the strategies, experiences and constraints of poor families shape whether and how housing policies can connect families to communities of opportunity.

More Discussions