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Housing allowances in comparative perspective$
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Peter Kemp

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347541

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347541.001.0001

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Housing allowances American style: the Housing Choice Voucher programme

Housing allowances American style: the Housing Choice Voucher programme

Chapter:
(p.87) five Housing allowances American style: the Housing Choice Voucher programme
Source:
Housing allowances in comparative perspective
Author(s):

Sandra J. Newman

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861347541.003.0005

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

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