Exercising Choice with Housing Choice Vouchers - May 8, 2014

Exercising Choice with Housing Choice Vouchers

Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning 


Elizabeth Bonventre, Kristin Haas. Cassie Mann and Amelia Najjar

In this report, the authors present recommendations to eliminate barriers to housing mobility for Section 8 voucher holders in the Greater Boston area. These recommendations are meant to inform the advocacy efforts of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) as they work to promote housing choice for low-income individuals and families in Massachusetts.
To develop these recommendations, the research team conducted qualitative interviews with 23 Section 8 voucher holders and property owners in high-opportunity cities and towns. The research team identified these areas as those with low poverty rates, low crime rates, and high-quality schools. Interviews with voucher holders focused on the obstacles they faced in moving to high-opportunity neighborhoods, as well as their satisfaction once living there. Property owners were asked about the benefits and burdens of renting to Section 8 tenants in the hopes of identifying ways that the program can better attract property owners in high-opportunity areas.
The research team concluded that changes are needed at both the housing agency and policy levels, including improving the inspection process, raising rent limits, and increasing funding and capacity of housing agencies.
To read the full report please click here