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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Rolle, Tara M.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2009

    After the Great Depression there was a need for federal housing assistance programs to help alleviate some of the distress that many Americans were experiencing during the United States housing crisis. The Section 8 Tenant Based Program, which is federally funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps to provide thousands of Americans each year with safe, decent and sanitary housing; something they might not have otherwise been able to obtain without an intervention.

    The Section 8 Program is viewed by many to be a success, however, as the program has grown over the years some of its unforeseen effects have now become apparent. The program was not only intended to provide better living conditions for eligible low-income families, but it was also projected that it would be a means to disband many of the states’ Public Housing units, which have become breeding grounds for poverty and crime. The program has been criticized of not only failing to decentralize these impoverished areas that are riddled with unlawful activity, but instead has...

    After the Great Depression there was a need for federal housing assistance programs to help alleviate some of the distress that many Americans were experiencing during the United States housing crisis. The Section 8 Tenant Based Program, which is federally funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps to provide thousands of Americans each year with safe, decent and sanitary housing; something they might not have otherwise been able to obtain without an intervention.

    The Section 8 Program is viewed by many to be a success, however, as the program has grown over the years some of its unforeseen effects have now become apparent. The program was not only intended to provide better living conditions for eligible low-income families, but it was also projected that it would be a means to disband many of the states’ Public Housing units, which have become breeding grounds for poverty and crime. The program has been criticized of not only failing to decentralize these impoverished areas that are riddled with unlawful activity, but instead has been considered by some to be a major contributor in the destruction of many communities.

    The purpose of this research is to investigate some of the negative effects of the Section 8 Program on participating communities. It is also the intent of this study to educate individuals on how the program works to enable them to make well-informed decisions and determination of the program’s success and impacts. Suggestions were given based on research findings on how to improve the Section 8 Program while adhering to the program’s initial design and objectives. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rosenthal, Larry A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Standard economic theory on subsidies and labor supply raises an unappetizing prospect - that housing assistance may have a negative impact on self-sufficiency. Because of the rent structure in the public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs, participants may treat program benefits as a substitute form of income and this may dampen their ambitions to increase their own earnings.

    According to a comprehensive literature review by Mark Shroder (2002), the evidence for these disincentive effects has been quite mixed. Moreover, the rigor and precision of various research efforts have been somewhat lacking. This study updates Shroder’s work by summarizing and critiquing a variety of recent additions to the literature on housing assistance and its effect upon residents’ progress toward self-sufficiency. These additions include five careful studies which have found that traditional assistance reduces employment and slows income growth. However, countervailing research continues to appear, suggesting that housing assistance, coupled with self-sufficiency programs, can have a...

    Standard economic theory on subsidies and labor supply raises an unappetizing prospect - that housing assistance may have a negative impact on self-sufficiency. Because of the rent structure in the public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs, participants may treat program benefits as a substitute form of income and this may dampen their ambitions to increase their own earnings.

    According to a comprehensive literature review by Mark Shroder (2002), the evidence for these disincentive effects has been quite mixed. Moreover, the rigor and precision of various research efforts have been somewhat lacking. This study updates Shroder’s work by summarizing and critiquing a variety of recent additions to the literature on housing assistance and its effect upon residents’ progress toward self-sufficiency. These additions include five careful studies which have found that traditional assistance reduces employment and slows income growth. However, countervailing research continues to appear, suggesting that housing assistance, coupled with self-sufficiency programs, can have a positive effect on financial independence.

    So while it may be said that the totality of the evidence in this area remains mixed, those believing that public housing and vouchers have neutral or even positive effects on work and earnings now face a more onerous burden of proof. Existing research on the work disincentives of housing assistance hypothesized in standard labor-supply theory cannot easily be ignored.

    Much more encouraging are programs like Family Self Sufficiency and Jobs-Plus, which supplement housing assistance with a range of supportive services that promote self-sufficiency among recipients. If the disincentive hypothesis is in fact true, it now appears that well-designed enhancements to traditional housing assistance can counteract inherent negative employment and income effects. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Olsen, Edgar O.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    The primary purposes of this paper are to (1) consider the justifications that have been offered for housing subsidies to low-income households and the implications of these justifications for the evaluation and design of housing programs, (2) describe the most important features of the largest rental housing programs for low-income households in the United States, (3) summarize the empirical evidence on the major effects of these programs, and (4) analyze the major options for reform of the system of housing subsidies. The largest rental programs are HUD's Public Housing, Section 236, Section 8 New Construction/Substantial Rehab, Section 8 Existing, USDA's Section 515, and the IRS's Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The effects of these programs that will be considered include effects on the housing occupied by recipients of the subsidy and their consumption of other goods, effects on labor supply of assisted households, the distribution of benefits among recipients, participation rates among different types of households, effects on the types of neighborhoods in...

    The primary purposes of this paper are to (1) consider the justifications that have been offered for housing subsidies to low-income households and the implications of these justifications for the evaluation and design of housing programs, (2) describe the most important features of the largest rental housing programs for low-income households in the United States, (3) summarize the empirical evidence on the major effects of these programs, and (4) analyze the major options for reform of the system of housing subsidies. The largest rental programs are HUD's Public Housing, Section 236, Section 8 New Construction/Substantial Rehab, Section 8 Existing, USDA's Section 515, and the IRS's Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The effects of these programs that will be considered include effects on the housing occupied by recipients of the subsidy and their consumption of other goods, effects on labor supply of assisted households, the distribution of benefits among recipients, participation rates among different types of households, effects on the types of neighborhoods in which subsidized households live and the effect of subsidized housing and households on their neighbors, the effect on prices of unsubsidized housing, and the cost-effectiveness of alternative methods for delivering housing assistance. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fontaine, Jocelyn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This paper describes a reentry housing demonstration design process that will fill the gaps in the literature and strengthen policy and practice. The demonstration would include a range of housing and supportive services for formerly incarcerated persons, primarily focused on making meaningful reductions in returns to incarceration. The associated study would explore whether housing leads to reductions in recidivism and increases in the reintegration of those released from incarceration. Examples of potential partnerships and opportunities for reentry housing programming and funding are discussed. The paper concludes with several key hallmarks for the proposed demonstration to achieve its intended goals. (author abstract)

    This paper describes a reentry housing demonstration design process that will fill the gaps in the literature and strengthen policy and practice. The demonstration would include a range of housing and supportive services for formerly incarcerated persons, primarily focused on making meaningful reductions in returns to incarceration. The associated study would explore whether housing leads to reductions in recidivism and increases in the reintegration of those released from incarceration. Examples of potential partnerships and opportunities for reentry housing programming and funding are discussed. The paper concludes with several key hallmarks for the proposed demonstration to achieve its intended goals. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fischer, Will
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The Housing Choice Voucher program, the nation’s largest rental assistance program, helps more than 2 million low-income families rent modest units of their choice in the private market. Vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other hardships, lift more than a million people out of poverty, and give families an opportunity to move to safer, less poor neighborhoods. These effects, in turn, are closely linked to educational, developmental, and health benefits that can improve children’s long-term life chances and reduce costs in other public programs. This analysis reviews research findings on vouchers’ impact on families with children, people with disabilities, and other poor and vulnerable households. (author abstract)

    The Housing Choice Voucher program, the nation’s largest rental assistance program, helps more than 2 million low-income families rent modest units of their choice in the private market. Vouchers sharply reduce homelessness and other hardships, lift more than a million people out of poverty, and give families an opportunity to move to safer, less poor neighborhoods. These effects, in turn, are closely linked to educational, developmental, and health benefits that can improve children’s long-term life chances and reduce costs in other public programs. This analysis reviews research findings on vouchers’ impact on families with children, people with disabilities, and other poor and vulnerable households. (author abstract)

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