Households eligible for federal housing assistance vouchers are often unable to get on waiting lists whose numbers stretch into the tens of thousands, writes Molly Bolan in Route Fifty, making the program ineffective for a large portion of the people who qualify for it.
With families languishing for years in unstable short-term housing, what can states and cities do to assist struggling renters? One solution, according to some experts: tax credits. “Tax credits give governments flexibility to target specific populations, such as the elderly or people with disabilities,” Bolan explains. “Plus, property owners won’t necessarily know which tenants are receiving tax credits to help with housing costs,” mitigating the potential for discrimination against low-income households.
Other ways to improve the effectiveness of the voucher program include passing laws against source-of-income discrimination and implementing cash assistance programs that could reduce administrative overhead and get people into stable affordable housing faster.