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SPD-2003-1
Tracy A. Loveless and John J. Hisnanick
Component ID: #ti1944589778

Introduction

Housing has not been a prominent element of recent discussions of welfare reform. The goal of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was to move individuals dependent on public assistance to economic independence. Clearly, the movement of people to affordable housing is an important consideration in achieving that goal. 

The earlier welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), and the housing assistance programs were designed to assist different clienteles but sometimes served the same populations. The focus of this report is on government-sponsored programs that provide either direct or indirect rental assistance for low-income families. This assistance can take the form of housing vouchers that are given to families for which payments are made directly to a private landlord, it can be in the form of reduced rent for households living in government owned and operated properties, or it can take the form of a reduced interest rate. This report discusses changes in receipt of rental subsidies between 1993 and 1999 using the Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD) second longitudinal file (SLF). In addition, the report compares receipt of housing assistance with participation in the food stamp and public assistance programs.

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