Housing allowances American style: the Housing Choice Voucher programme

Sandra J. Newman

in Housing allowances in comparative perspective

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302506 | DOI:
Housing allowances American style: the Housing Choice Voucher programme

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In the US, housing allowances take the form of housing vouchers. Whereas housing allowances are typically unrestricted cash transfers earmarked for housing, housing vouchers are earmarked for housing, but they do have restrictions. Put simply, a voucher is essentially a promissory note from the government — with strings attached. It allows a low-income household to lease a physically decent private market unit that is rented for an amount considered reasonable for modest, existing, standard rental units in the housing market area, typically in the county or metropolitan area. This chapter begins with a discussion of perceived advantages of housing voucher programmes and their impact on social welfare. It then describes the Housing Voucher programme design and reviews current policy debates.

Keywords: housing assistance; housing policy; United States; social welfare

Chapter.  8110 words. 

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