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Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

August 2007: 

Rental Housing: 

Information on Low-Income Veterans' Housing Conditions and 
Participation in HUD's Programs: 

GAO-07-1012: 

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-07-1012, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan could increase 
demand for affordable rental housing. Households with low incomes (80 
percent or less of the area median income) generally are eligible to 
receive rental assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development’s (HUD) housing choice voucher, public housing, and project-
based programs. However, because rental assistance is not an 
entitlement, not all who are eligible receive assistance. 

In response to a congressional mandate, GAO assessed (1) the income 
status and demographic and housing characteristics of veteran renter 
households, (2) how HUD’s rental assistance programs treat veteran 
status (whether a person is a veteran or not) and whether they use a 
veterans’ preference, and (3) the extent to which HUD’s rental 
assistance programs served veterans in fiscal year 2005. Among other 
things, GAO analyzed data from HUD, the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(VA), and the Bureau of the Census, surveyed selected public housing 
agencies, and interviewed agency officials and veterans groups. 

GAO makes no recommendations in this report. VA agreed with the 
report’s findings. HUD objected to the characterization in the report 
regarding HUD’s policies on veteran status and program eligibility and 
subsidy amounts 

What GAO Found: 

In 2005, an estimated 2.3 million veteran renter households had low 
incomes. The proportion of veteran renter households that were low 
income varied by state but did not fall below 41 percent. Further, an 
estimated 1.3 million, or about 56 percent of these low-income veteran 
households, had housing affordability problems—that is, rental costs 
exceeding 30 percent of household income. Compared with other 
(nonveteran) renter households, however, veterans were somewhat less 
likely to be low income or have housing affordability problems. 

HUD’s policies for its three major rental assistance programs generally 
do not take veteran status into account when determining eligibility or 
assistance levels, but eligible veterans can receive assistance. Also, 
HUD generally does not distinguish between income that is specific to 
veterans, such as VA-provided benefits, and other sources of income. 
The majority of the 41 largest public housing agencies that administer 
the housing choice voucher or public housing programs have no veterans’ 
preference for admission. The 13 largest performance-based contract 
administrators that oversee most properties under project-based 
programs reported that owners generally did not adopt a veterans’ 
preference. 

In fiscal year 2005, an estimated 11 percent of all eligible low-income 
veteran households (at least 250,000) received assistance, compared 
with 19 percent of nonveteran households. Although the reasons for the 
difference are unclear, factors such as differing levels of need for 
affordable housing among veteran and other households could influence 
the percentages. 

Figure: Percentage of Low-Income Veteran Households With Housing 
Affordibility Problems, by State, 2005.

[See PDF for image.]

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 American Community 
Survey; Art Explosion (map).

[End of figure]

[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-1012]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact David G. Wood at (202) 
512-8678 or woodd@gao.gov 

[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-1012]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact David G. Wood at (202) 
512-8678 or woodd@gao.gov 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

More Than Half of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households Had Housing 
Affordability Problems: 

HUD Rental Assistance Programs Do Not Take Veteran Status into Account 
When Determining Eligibility or Subsidy Amounts: 

Most Contacted Housing Agencies and Owners of Project-Based Properties 
Did Not Offer a Veterans' Preference for Admission to HUD's Rental 
Assistance Programs: 

Veteran Households Were Less Likely to Receive HUD Rental Assistance 
Than Other Low-Income Households: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Demographic and Housing Characteristics of Low-Income 
Veteran Renters: 

Appendix III: Information on HUD's Supportive Services Programs 
Available to Veterans: 

Appendix IV: HUD's Policies on Eligibility and Subsidy Amounts with 
Respect to Veteran-Specific Income and Benefits: 

Appendix V: Demographic and Housing Characteristics of HUD-Assisted 
Low- Income Veteran Renters: 

Appendix VI: Comments from the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development: 

Appendix VII: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Veteran and Other Renter Households, by Income Category, 2005: 

Table 2: Percentage of Renter Households That Were Elderly, by Income 
Category, 2005: 

Table 3: Percentage of Renter Households with a Disability, by Income 
Category, 2005: 

Table 4: Housing Affordability for Low-Income Renter Households, 2005: 

Table 5: Number of Contacted PHAs That Used a Preference System in 
Their Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs: 

Table 6: Estimated Number of Low-Income Veteran and Other Renter 
Households, by HUD Assistance, 2005: 

Table 7: Number of Low-Income Renter Households by Household 
Characteristics, 2005: 

Table 8: Number of Veteran Renter Households, by State, 2005: 

Table 9: Number of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households with Moderate 
or Severe Housing Affordability Problems, by State, 2005: 

Table 10: Number of Low-Income Households with Housing Affordability 
Problems for the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas, by Veteran Status, 
2005: 

Table 11: Description of HUD Supportive Services Programs Available to 
Veterans: 

Table 12: HUD's Treatment of Veteran Benefits in Determining Household 
Income and Subsidy Amount: 

Table 13: Number of HUD-Assisted Veteran Renter Households, by State, 
2005: 

Table 14: Number of HUD-Assisted, Elderly Veteran Renter Households, by 
State, 2005: 

Table 15: Number of HUD-Assisted, Disabled Veteran Renter Households by 
State, 2005: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Percentage of Veteran and Other Households Owning or Renting 
Homes in 2005: 

Figure 2: Number of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households, by State, 
2005: 

Figure 3: Percentage of Veteran Renter Households That Were Low-Income, 
by State, 2005: 

Figure 4: Percentage of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households with 
Housing Affordability Problems, by State, 2005: 

Figure 5: Number and Percentage of Low-Income Veteran Households 
Assisted by the Voucher, Public Housing, and Project-Based Programs, 
Fiscal Year 2005: 

Abbreviations: 

ACS: American Community Survey: 
AMI: area median income: 
BIRLS: Beneficiary Identification and Records Location Subsystem: 
FSS: Family Self- Sufficiency: 
GPD: Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem: 
HOMEHOME: Investment Partnerships Program: 
HOPWA: Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS: 
HUD: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: 
HUD- VASH: Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive 
Housing: 
IRS: Internal Revenue Service: 
PBCA: performance-based contract administrator: 
PHA: public housing agency: 
PIC: Public and Indian Housing Information Center: 
QHWRA: Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998: 
ROSS: Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency: 
TRACS: Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System: 
VA: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: 
USDA: U.S. Department of Agriculture: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

August 17, 2007: 

The Honorable Tim Johnson: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related 
Agencies: 
Committee on Appropriations United States Senate: 

The Honorable Chet Edwards: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Roger F. Wicker: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related 
Agencies: 
Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives: 

Disproportionately large numbers of military veterans have appeared 
among the homeless population in recent years, raising concerns about 
the incomes and housing conditions of veterans who rent, rather than 
own, their homes. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 
on any given night at least 194,000 veterans were homeless in fiscal 
year 2005--about one-third of the adult homeless population--and many 
veteran renters could be on the verge of homelessness if they have low 
incomes or precarious living conditions in overcrowded or substandard 
housing.[Footnote 1] The return of more veterans from service in Iraq 
and Afghanistan--some with significant physical and psychological 
challenges--could increase demand for affordable housing with 
supportive services such as mental health and substance abuse 
treatment. However, neither the VA nor other government agencies report 
information specifically on the housing conditions or housing costs of 
veterans who rent. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the primary 
federal provider of rental housing assistance through its housing 
choice voucher, public housing, and project-based programs. Vouchers, 
which are annually renewable, enable about 2 million households to rent 
units of their choice in the private market, while public housing and 
project-based assistance is available to about 2.8 million households 
in specifically designated units. These programs generally serve low- 
income households--those with incomes that are 80 percent or less of 
their local area median incomes (AMI). Assisted households generally 
pay 30 percent of their monthly incomes, after certain adjustments, in 
rent, and HUD pays the remainder. Third-party administrators manage the 
programs on HUD's behalf--local public housing agencies (PHA) for the 
voucher and public housing programs and individual private property 
owners for the project-based programs. PHAs and property owners are 
responsible for ensuring eligibility and for determining the amounts 
that tenants contribute toward their rents. However, because the rental 
assistance programs are not entitlement programs--the extent of 
assistance is limited by the amount of appropriated funds--not all 
renter households that are eligible receive assistance. In this report, 
we refer to households that do not receive rental assistance as 
"unassisted." 

In 2005, an estimated 6 million unassisted low-income renter households 
had what HUD termed "worst-case housing needs"--that is, they paid more 
than half of their income in rent, lived in severely inadequate 
housing, or both.[Footnote 2] Many PHAs and property owners have long 
waiting lists of renters seeking subsidized housing. Within broad 
program requirements, PHAs and property owners generally have the 
discretion to use a system of "preferences" to give certain 
populations--such as the elderly, veterans, or the homeless--priority 
in receiving assistance as rental units or vouchers become available to 
new program participants. HUD requires PHAs and property owners to 
describe their preference policies in their administrative plans-- 
documents required for the voucher and public housing programs--or 
their tenant selection plans, which are required for the project-based 
programs. HUD also funds a limited number of supportive services 
programs for which PHAs and property owners can apply that pay for 
service coordinators, economic self-sufficiency initiatives for 
tenants, and other activities. 

The conference report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2006 Military 
Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act mandated that 
we conduct a study on housing assistance to low-income veterans. As 
agreed with your Subcommittees, our study focuses on low-income 
veterans who rent their homes. Specifically, this report discusses (1) 
the income status and demographic and housing characteristics of 
veteran renter households; (2) how HUD's rental assistance programs 
treat veteran status (that is, whether a person is a veteran or not) 
and veteran-specific benefits in determining eligibility and subsidy 
amounts; (3) the extent to which PHAs and property owners participating 
in HUD's rental assistance programs establish a veterans' preference in 
their administrative and tenant selection plans; and (4) the extent to 
which HUD's rental assistance programs served veteran households in 
fiscal year 2005. 

To determine the income status and demographic and housing 
characteristics of veteran households, we utilized the Bureau of the 
Census's (Census) 2005 American Community Survey (ACS), which 
identified households' veteran status, income, and other demographic 
characteristics, in conjunction with HUD's defined income categories-- 
low (80 percent of AMI or less), very low (50 percent of AMI or less), 
and extremely low (30 percent of AMI or less). Using HUD's income 
limits for calendar year 2005, we estimated, by geographic area, the 
number of veteran households that were in each income 
category.[Footnote 3] We also used information on veteran households in 
ACS to describe certain demographic characteristics, and the cost and 
quality of their housing. (Not included in the 2005 ACS survey universe 
are individuals who live in group quarters--which include college 
dormitories, correctional facilities, and certain types of nursing 
facilities and hospitals--or homeless individuals.) Unless otherwise 
noted, all reported numeric estimates derived from ACS are subject to 
sampling errors of plus or minus 10 percent or less of the value of 
those numeric estimates. To determine how HUD's rental assistance 
programs treat households veteran status in determining eligibility and 
subsidy amounts, we reviewed HUD's eligibility policies and regulations 
on rental assistance programs and interviewed officials from HUD and 
VA. To determine whether PHAs and property owners participating in 
HUD's programs have established a veterans' preference for households, 
we conducted interviews with officials from the 41 largest PHAs that 
administer the public housing program (34 PHAs) and the voucher program 
(40 PHAs), and from the 13 largest performance-based contract 
administrators (PBCA) that oversee property management under project- 
based rental assistance programs.[Footnote 4] The PHAs and PBCAs that 
we interviewed were responsible for administering or overseeing more 
than half of the roughly $28 billion in assistance provided through the 
three programs in fiscal year 2005. However, information on preferences 
is not statistically generalizable to the other PHAs and property 
owners. Finally, to determine the extent to which HUD's rental 
assistance programs served veteran households in fiscal year 2005, we 
matched data from HUD on program participants with data from VA on 
living veterans and used these matched data to estimate the percentage 
of low-income veteran renter households that received HUD assistance. 
For all of our research objectives, we consulted with officials from 
various housing and veterans groups, including Harvard University's 
Joint Center on Housing Studies, the National Low Income Housing 
Coalition, the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, the Corporation 
for Supportive Housing, Vietnam Veterans of America, the American 
Legion, and Volunteers of America. 

Appendix I contains a more detailed description of our scope and 
methodology. We conducted our work in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los 
Angeles, and Washington, D.C., from March 2006 through July 2007 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

Results in Brief: 

In 2005, an estimated 2.3 million veteran renter households, or about 
53 percent of all veteran renter households nationwide, were low income 
(their household incomes were 80 percent or less of their areas' median 
household incomes), and more than half of these low-income households 
had problems affording their rent. The number of low-income veteran 
renter households varied considerably by state, from a high of 236,000 
in California (representing 10 percent of all low-income veteran 
renters nationwide) to less than 6,000 in Wyoming. While the 
percentages of renter households that were low income varied by state, 
in no state did the proportion fall below 41 percent. In terms of 
demographic characteristics, we found the following: 

* A significant proportion of low-income veteran renter households 
included a veteran who was elderly or had a disability.[Footnote 5] 
Specifically, an estimated 816,000 (36 percent of these veteran 
households) had at least one veteran who was elderly (that is, 62 years 
of age or older); 887,000 (39 percent) had at least one veteran member 
with a disability. 

* An estimated 1.3 million, or about 56 percent of low-income veteran 
renter households, had housing affordability problems--that is, their 
rental costs exceeded 30 percent of their household incomes. The extent 
of housing affordability problems varied significantly by state. For 
example, Nevada had the highest percentage of low-income veteran 
renters with affordability problems (about 70 percent), while North 
Dakota had the lowest percentage (about 37 percent). 

* Nationally, a small percentage (less than 3 percent) of low-income 
veteran renters lived in overcrowded or inadequate housing. 

Finally, in general, veteran renter households were less likely to be 
low income, have affordability problems, or live in overcrowded or 
inadequate housing than were other (nonveteran) households. 

HUD's policies for its three major rental assistance programs generally 
do not take veteran status into account in determining eligibility or 
assistance levels, but veterans who meet income and other eligibility 
requirements can receive assistance. HUD is not required to collect, 
and does not collect, any information that identifies the veteran 
status of assisted households. When determining income eligibility and 
subsidy amounts, HUD generally does not distinguish between income 
sources that are specific to veterans, such as VA-provided benefits, 
and other sources of income; rather, HUD takes into account the type of 
income, such as whether it is recurring or not. For example, when 
calculating applicants' incomes, HUD excludes most types of VA-provided 
benefits, such as payments for training and education or health care 
services, but it includes veterans' pensions, disability payments, and 
survivor benefits, which are recurring payments. Finally, although HUD 
rental assistance programs generally do not target veterans, HUD 
allocated about 1,800 vouchers in the early 1990s for placing formerly 
homeless veterans with severe psychiatric or substance abuse disorders 
into affordable rental housing. However, usage of these vouchers has 
been declining--as of the end of fiscal year 2006, about 1,000 vouchers 
remained in use. 

The majority of the 41 largest PHAs we contacted have no veterans' 
preference for admission to their public housing or voucher programs, 
and all of the 13 largest PBCAs we contacted told us that owners of 
project-based properties that they oversee generally do not have a 
veterans' preference. Specifically, according to our interviews with 34 
of the largest PHAs that administer public housing programs, 14 (about 
41 percent) offered a veterans' preference in fiscal year 2006. 
Similarly, 13 of the 40 largest PHAs (about 33 percent) that administer 
the housing choice voucher program offered a veterans' preference. 
Finally, officials from all of the 13 largest PBCAs told us that owners 
of project-based properties that they oversee generally do not employ a 
veterans' preference when selecting tenants. 

Low-income veteran households were less likely to receive HUD rental 
assistance than other low-income households (that is, nonveteran 
households). Specifically, of all low-income veteran households, an 
estimated 11 percent received HUD rental assistance in fiscal year 
2005, whereas an estimated 19 percent of other low-income households 
received assistance. Although the reasons for the difference are 
unclear, based on our analyses and discussions with HUD officials, 
various factors could influence the percentage of eligible veteran 
households that receive HUD rental assistance--for example, different 
levels of need for affordable housing among veteran and other 
households and PHAs' and property owners' use of a veterans' 
preference. In fiscal year 2005, at least 250,000 low-income veteran 
households received rental assistance under HUD's programs-- 
representing about 6 percent of all households that received such 
assistance. Finally, compared with other (nonveteran) assisted 
households, veteran-assisted households were as likely to be elderly 
but were more likely to have a disability. 

We provided HUD and VA with a draft of this report for review and 
comment. In its response, VA agreed with the findings that related to 
VA and offered no other comments. In a letter from the Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Public Housing and Voucher Programs, HUD disagreed with 
our report's characterization that its policies for its three major 
rental assistance programs generally do not take veteran status into 
account when determining eligibility or assistance levels, and stated 
that "HUD cannot mandate that a PHA establish any particular type of 
preference" for the voucher program. Our report does not state that HUD 
can mandate preferences for any of the three major rental assistance 
programs, but rather acknowledges that the Quality Housing and Work 
Responsibility Act of 1998 repealed federally mandated preferences and 
provided individual PHAs and property owners with the authority to 
establish preferences, including a veterans' preference. Moreover, our 
report distinguishes between how veteran/nonveteran status affects 
eligibility for HUD programs and whether or not a preference is 
extended once eligibility has been established. In reviewing HUD's 
regulations and consulting with agency officials on HUD's policies we 
found no evidence that veteran status is a factor in determining 
eligibility for HUD's programs, and HUD's comment letter provided no 
evidence. Accordingly, we did not make any changes to the report. 

Background: 

According to Census data, in 2005 an estimated 21.9 million households, 
or 20 percent of the 111.1 million households nationwide, were "veteran 
households"--that is, they had at least one member who was a military 
veteran. As figure 1 shows, most veteran households--about 80 percent-
-owned their own homes, a significantly higher percentage than was the 
case for other (nonveteran) households. 

Figure 1: Percentage of Veteran and Other Households Owning or Renting 
Homes in 2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS.

[End of figure] 

Census data also show that renter households were more likely to be low 
income than were owner-occupied households. In 2005, an estimated 36.8 
million households nationwide rented homes, including about 4.3 million 
veteran households. Approximately 66 percent of renter households were 
low income; in contrast, 32 percent of homeowners were low income. Many 
of these households must rent because they lack sufficient income and 
savings to purchase a home. Furthermore, studies by HUD and others have 
noted the difficulties many renters face in finding a place with 
affordable rents because growth in household incomes has not kept pace 
with rising rents in many markets. 

VA, through a variety of programs, provides federal assistance to 
veterans who are homeless, and also provides homeownership assistance, 
but does not provide rental assistance. One of the agency's largest 
programs for homeless veterans is the Homeless Providers Grant and Per 
Diem (GPD) program, which provides funding to nonprofit and public 
agencies to help temporarily shelter veterans. GPD funding can be used 
for purposes such as paying for the construction or renovation of 
transitional housing and reimbursing local agencies for operating the 
program. In fiscal year 2005, the GPD program spent about $67 million 
and had about 8,000 beds that were available to homeless veterans. VA 
also administers eight other programs for outreach and treatment of 
homeless veterans.[Footnote 6] In addition to its homelessness 
programs, VA provides a variety of programs, services, and benefits to 
veterans and their families.[Footnote 7] Included among them are 
pension payments, disability payments, health care services, training 
and education allowances, and burial expenses. The VA assists veterans 
in becoming homeowners through its Home Loan Guaranty program, which 
offers mortgages with favorable terms, including no down payment, 
limitations on closing costs, no private mortgage insurance, and easier 
credit standards to qualify for a loan. 

HUD provides rental housing assistance through three major programs-- 
housing choice voucher, public housing, and project-based. In fiscal 
year 2005, these programs provided rental assistance to about 4.8 
million households and paid about $28 billion in rental subsidies. 
These three programs generally serve low-income households--that is, 
households with incomes less than or equal to 80 percent of AMI. Most 
of these programs have targets for households with extremely low 
incomes--30 percent or less of AMI. HUD-assisted households generally 
pay 30 percent of their monthly income, after certain adjustments, 
toward their unit's rent.[Footnote 8] HUD pays the difference between 
the household's contribution and the unit's rent (under the voucher and 
project-based programs) and the difference between the PHAs' operating 
costs and rental receipts for public housing. 

The housing choice voucher program provides vouchers that eligible 
families can use to rent houses or apartments in the private housing 
market. Voucher holders are responsible for finding suitable housing, 
which must meet HUD's housing quality standards. The subsidies in the 
voucher program are connected to the household (that is, tenant-based), 
so tenants can use the vouchers in new residences if they move. The 
approximately 2,500 PHAs that administer the voucher program are 
responsible for ensuring that tenants meet program eligibility 
requirements and that tenant subsidies are calculated properly. PHAs 
also are required to develop written policies and procedures to 
administer the program consistently with HUD regulations. 

The public housing program subsidizes the development, operation, and 
modernization of government-owned properties and provides units for 
eligible tenants in these properties. In contrast to the voucher 
program, the subsidies in the public housing program are connected to 
specific rental units (that is, project-based), so tenants receive 
assistance only when they live in these units. Approximately 3,300 PHAs 
manage the public housing program on behalf of HUD. PHAs are 
responsible for ensuring tenant eligibility for the program, properly 
calculating tenant subsidies, and ensuring that their policies and 
procedures conform to HUD regulations. 

Finally, through a variety of project-based programs, HUD provides rent 
subsidies in the form of multiyear housing assistance payments to 
private property owners and managers on behalf of eligible 
tenants.[Footnote 9] Tenants may apply for admission to these 
properties with project-based rental assistance contracts. About 22,000 
property owners and managers currently participate in the programs and, 
similar to PHAs, must ensure tenants meet eligibility requirements, 
calculate subsidies correctly, and develop administrative policies and 
procedures that are consistent with HUD regulations.[Footnote 10] For 
most of these project-based properties, HUD contracts with PBCAs-- 
typically state and local housing agencies--to oversee property 
management and process requests for payments from property owners. The 
PBCAs are also responsible for conducting annual management and 
occupancy reviews, which include reviewing property owners' tenant 
selection plans. 

HUD rental assistance programs are not entitlements, and as a result, 
the amount of funding HUD requests and Congress provides annually 
limits the number of households that these programs can assist. 
Historically, funding for these programs has not been sufficient to 
assist all eligible households. Because the demand for rental 
assistance outstrips available resources, many PHAs and property owners 
have waiting lists of applicants seeking rental assistance. PHAs and 
property owners can use a system of preferences for giving certain 
populations--such as the elderly, veterans, or the homeless--priority 
in receiving assistance as units or vouchers become available. 

In addition to rental assistance, HUD funds a limited number of 
supportive services programs. The programs offer counseling, education 
and job training, mental health services, transportation, and child 
care, among other services. Generally, PHAs and property owners must 
apply for funding under these programs. Supportive services not funded 
by HUD can be made available through partnerships between individual 
properties, local organizations, and other federal agency programs. 

HUD administers other programs that help low-income households, 
including eligible veteran households, obtain access to affordable 
rental housing. Our review did not focus on these programs because they 
make up a relatively small percentage of HUD's funding when compared 
with the three major rental assistance programs. Further, they are not 
solely rental assistance programs, but rather serve multiple purposes; 
for example, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides 
formula grants to states and localities to build, acquire, and 
rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership. In addition, 
other federal agencies administer programs that provide forms of rental 
assistance to eligible populations, such as the Internal Revenue 
Service's (IRS) Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and U.S. 
Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Housing Service programs. The 
tax credit program funds the development of rental units that are 
restricted to low-income households for a number of years, while USDA's 
programs (which are small relative to HUD's programs) fund the 
development of low-income rental units or subsidize rents in rural 
areas. 

More Than Half of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households Had Housing 
Affordability Problems: 

Based on our analysis of ACS data, an estimated 2.3 million veteran 
renter households had low incomes in 2005. The numbers of low-income 
veteran renter households varied considerably by state, as did the 
percentages of veteran renter households that were low income. In terms 
of demographic characteristics, we found that a significant proportion 
of low-income veteran renter households had a veteran member who was 
elderly or had a disability.[Footnote 11] In addition, about 56 percent 
of low-income veteran renter households had problems affording their 
rents--that is, their housing costs exceeded 30 percent of household 
income. Finally, a small percentage of low-income veteran renters lived 
in overcrowded or inadequate housing. 

More Than Half of Veteran Renter Households Had Low Incomes: 

According to our analysis of ACS data, of the 4.3 million veteran 
households that rented their homes, an estimated 2.3 million, or about 
53 percent were low income in 2005. As shown in table 1, the largest 
share of these 2.3 million households was concentrated in the highest 
low-income category--that is, 50.1 to 80 percent of AMI--with somewhat 
small shares in the two lower categories. The table also shows that 
other renter households (that is, households without a veteran member) 
were even more likely to be low income than veteran renter households. 
Specifically, an estimated 22 million, or 68 percent, of the 32.5 
million other renter households were low income. Further, the largest 
share of the 22 million households was concentrated in the lowest 
income category--that is, 30 percent or less of AMI. 

Table 1: Veteran and Other Renter Households, by Income Category, 2005: 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): All low income (80% or less); 
Veteran household: Number: 2,282,720; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 53%; 
Other household: Number: 22,012,930; 
Other household: Percentage: 68%. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 50.1 to 80%; 
Veteran household: Number: 966,865; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 22;  
Other household: Number: 6,774,065; 
Other household: Percentage: 21. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 30.1 to 50%; 
Veteran household: Number: 674,085; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 16;  
Other household: Number: 6,101,435; 
Other household: Percentage: 19.

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 30% or less; 
Veteran household: Number: 641,770; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 15; 
Other household: Number: 9,137,430; 
Other household: Percentage: 28. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): Not low income (greater than 
80%); 
Veteran household: Number: 2,023,755; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 47; 
Other household: Number: 10,452,230; 
Other household: Percentage: 32. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): Total renter households; 
Veteran household: Number: 4,306,475; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 100%;  
Other household: Number: 32,465,160; 
Other household: Percentage: 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

[End of table] 

The estimated numbers of low-income veteran renter households in 2005 
varied greatly by state, as shown in figure 2. The estimated median 
number of low-income veteran renters in any state was about 34,000. 
California had significantly more low-income veteran renter households 
than any other state--more than 236,000, or about 10 percent of all 
such households nationwide--followed by Texas with about 142,000, and 
New York with about 135,000. The states with the smallest number of low-
income veteran households were Vermont, Delaware, and Wyoming with less 
than 6,000 each.[Footnote 12] 

Figure 2: Number of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households, by State, 
2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS; Art Explosion 
(map). 

Note: Twenty-two states had margins of error of more than 10 percent, 
and two states and the District of Columbia had margins of error that 
were 20 percent or more (see table 8 in app. II for the reported 
margins of error). 

[End of figure]

As shown in figure 3, the percentages of veteran renter households that 
were low income in 2005 also varied considerably by state. Michigan had 
the highest percentage--about 65 percent of its veteran renter 
households were low income, while Virginia had the lowest--about 41 
percent. Table 8 in appendix II contains more detailed information 
about the number and percentages of low-income veteran renters in each 
state and the District of Columbia. 

Figure 3: Percentage of Veteran Renter Households That Were Low-Income, 
by State, 2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS; Art Explosion 
(map).

[End of figure] 

More Than One-Third of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households Were 
Elderly or Had a Disability: 

Households with at least one veteran member who was elderly (that is, 
62 years of age or older) or had a disability constituted a significant 
share of all low-income veteran renter households in 2005. 
Specifically, of the 2.3 million low-income veteran renter households, 
an estimated 816,000 (36 percent) had a member who was elderly. As 
shown in table 2, the incomes of these elderly veteran households 
generally were distributed fairly evenly across the three low-income 
categories. 

In comparison, other (nonveteran) low-income households had a lower 
percentage of elderly households. About 4 million (18 percent) of the 
22 million other low-income renter households were elderly, with most 
of their income concentrated in the lowest income category. 

Table 2: Percentage of Renter Households That Were Elderly, by Income 
Category, 2005: 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): All low income (80% or less); 
Veteran household: Number: 816,475; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 65%; 
Other household: Number: 4,024,625; 
Other household: Percentage: 82%. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 50.1 to 80%; 
Veteran household: Number: 287,170; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 23; 
Other household: Number: 784,940; 
Other household: Percentage: 16. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 30.1 to 50%; 
Veteran household: Number: 279,880; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 22; 
Other household: Number: 1,197,810; 
Other household: Percentage: 24. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 30% or less; 
Veteran household: Number: 249,425; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 20; 
Other household: Number: 2,041,875; 
Other household: Percentage: 41. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): Not low income (greater than 
80%); 
Veteran household: Number: 442,875; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 35;  
Other household: Number: 914,510; 
Other household: Percentage: 19. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): Total renter households; 
Veteran household: Number: 1,259,350; Veteran household: Percentage: 
100%; [Empty]; Other household: Number: 4,939,135; Other household: 
Percentage: 100% . 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. 

[End of table]

In 2005, an estimated 887,000, or 39 percent, of low-income veteran 
renter households had at least one veteran member with a disability. 
Similar to the elderly veteran renter households, the incomes of these 
households generally were distributed evenly across the different low- 
income categories (see table 3). In comparison, an estimated 6.8 
million, or 31 percent, of other low-income households had a member 
with a disability. In marked contrast to veteran renter households with 
a disability, other such renters had household incomes that were 
considerably more concentrated in the lowest income category. 

Table 3: Percentage of Renter Households with a Disability, by Income 
Category, 2005: 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): All low income (80% or less); 
Veteran household: Number: 887,130; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 69%;  
Other household: Number: 6,838,515; 
Other household: Percentage: 81%. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 50.1 to 80%; 
Veteran household: Number: 280,340; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 22;  
Other household: Number: 1,410,350; 
Other household: Percentage: 17. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 30.1 to 50%; 
Veteran household: Number: 279,925; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 22; 
Other household: Number: 1,791,390; 
Other household: Percentage: 21. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): 30% or less; 
Veteran household: Number: 326,865; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 25; 
Other household: Number: 3,636,775; 
Other household: Percentage: 43. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): Not low income (greater than 
80%); 
Veteran household: Number: 397,785; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 31; 
Other household: Number: 1,623,495; 
Other household: Percentage: 19. 

Income category (as a percentage of AMI): Total renter households; 
Veteran household: Number: 1,284,915; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 100%; 
Other household: Number: 8,462,010; 
Other household: Percentage: 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

[End of table]

In addition to the elderly and disability status of veteran households, 
we also analyzed information on selected other demographic 
characteristics--including race and ethnicity--of low-income veteran 
renter households nationally and at the state level. We include these 
results in appendix II. 

More Than Half of Low-Income Veteran Renters Had Housing Affordability 
Problems: 

According to our analysis of ACS data, an estimated 1.3 million low- 
income veteran households, or about 56 percent of the 2.3 million such 
households, had rents that exceeded 30 percent of their household 
income in 2005 (see table 4). These veteran renter households had what 
HUD terms "moderate" or "severe" problems affording their 
rent.[Footnote 13] Specifically, about 31 percent of low-income veteran 
renter households had moderate affordability problems, and about 26 
percent had severe affordability problems. The remainder either paid 30 
percent or less of their household income in rent, reported zero 
income, or did not pay cash rent. In comparison, a higher proportion of 
other low-income renter households had moderate or severe housing 
affordability problems. Specifically, of the 22 million other low- 
income renter households, an estimated 13.9 million, or about 63 
percent, had a housing affordability problem, with these households 
somewhat evenly distributed between those with moderate and severe 
affordability problems. 

Table 4: Housing Affordability for Low-Income Renter Households, 2005: 

Affordability category: Affordability problem; 
Veteran household: Number: 1,284,540; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 56%; 
Other household: Number: 13,855,530; 
Other household: Percentage: 63%. 

Affordability category: Moderate; 
Veteran household: Number: 699,470; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 31; 
Other household: Number: 6,260,495; 
Other household: Percentage: 28. 

Affordability category: Severe; 
Veteran household: Number: 585,070; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 26; 
Other household: Number: 7,595,035; 
Other household: Percentage: 35. 

Affordability category: No affordability problem; 
Veteran household: Number: 763,640; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 33; 
Other household: Number: 6,264,690; 
Other household: Percentage: 28. 

Affordability category: Zero income/no cash rent; 
Veteran household: Number: 234,535; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 10; 
Other household: Number: 1,892,710; 
Other household: Percentage: 9. 

Affordability category: Total; 
Veteran household: Number: 2,282,720; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 100%; 
Other household: Number: 22,012,930; 
Other household: Percentage: 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

The extent of housing affordability problems among low-income veteran 
renter households varied significantly by state in 2005 (see fig. 4). 
The median percentage of low-income veteran renters with affordability 
problems nationwide was 54 percent. California and Nevada had the 
highest proportions of affordability problems among low-income veteran 
renter households--about 68 and 70 percent, respectively. North Dakota 
and Nebraska had the smallest--about 37 and 41 percent, respectively. 
Table 9 in appendix II contains detailed information on the percentage 
of low-income veterans with affordability problems by state. 

Figure 4: Percentage of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households with 
Housing Affordability Problems, by State, 2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS; Art Explosion 
(map).

Note: Three states and the District of Columbia had margins of error of 
more than 10 percentage points (see table 9 in app. II for more 
detail). 

[End of figure] 

Small Percentage of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households Lived in 
Inadequate Housing: 

A relatively small percentage of veteran households lived in 
overcrowded or substandard housing in 2005. Specifically, an estimated 
73,000, or 3 percent, of low-income veteran renter households lived in 
overcrowded housing--housing with more than one person per room--and 
less than 18,000, or about 1 percent, lived in severely overcrowded 
housing--housing with more than one and a half persons per 
room.[Footnote 14] In contrast, an estimated 1.5 million, or 7 percent, 
of other low-income renter households lived in overcrowded housing, and 
about 423,000, or 2 percent, lived in severely overcrowded housing. 

Finally, ACS data indicate that a very small share of low-income 
veteran renters lived in inadequate housing. ACS provides very limited 
information about the quality of the housing unit; the survey 
classifies a unit as inadequate if it lacks complete plumbing or 
kitchen facilities, or both.[Footnote 15] In 2005, an estimated 53,000, 
or 2 percent, of low-income veteran renter households lived in 
inadequate housing. In comparison, an estimated 334,000, or 2 percent, 
of other households lived in inadequate housing. 

HUD Rental Assistance Programs Do Not Take Veteran Status into Account 
When Determining Eligibility or Subsidy Amounts: 

HUD's rental assistance programs do not take veteran status into 
account when determining eligibility or calculating subsidy amounts, 
and HUD does not collect any information identifying whether assisted 
households have members who are veterans. Veterans can participate in 
these programs if they meet eligibility requirements. Further, HUD 
policies generally do not distinguish between income sources that are 
specific to veterans, such as VA-provided benefits, and other sources 
of income. Instead, HUD takes into account the type of income, such as 
whether it is recurring or not. When calculating applicants' incomes, 
we found that HUD excludes most types of income and benefits that 
veterans may receive from VA, with the exception of recurring income, 
such as veterans' pension, disability payments, and survivor benefits. 
Although HUD's major programs do not take veteran status into account 
for determining eligibility and subsidy amount, HUD allocated almost 
1,800 vouchers that were specifically targeted to formerly homeless 
veterans in the early 1990s, but the number of vouchers in use has been 
declining. 

HUD's Rental Assistance Programs Are Not Required to Take Veteran 
Status into Account: 

HUD's major rental assistance programs are not required to take a 
household's veteran status into account when determining eligibility 
and calculating subsidy amounts. Consequently, HUD does not collect any 
information that identifies the veteran status of assisted households. 
As with other households, veterans can benefit from HUD rental 
assistance provided that they meet all of the programs' income and 
other eligibility criteria. For example, assisted households must meet 
U.S. citizenship requirements and, for some of the rental assistance 
programs, HUD's criteria for an elderly household or a household with a 
disability. 

In addition to rental assistance, HUD makes available limited 
supportive services to some assisted households, typically through 
separate programs, but like rental assistance, none of these supportive 
services programs take veteran status into account when determining 
eligibility. An example is HUD's Multifamily Housing Service 
Coordinator grant program, which pays for coordinators to assist 
residents (at properties designated for the elderly and persons with 
disabilities) in obtaining supportive services from community agencies. 
(See table 11 in app. III for a description of other programs through 
which HUD makes supportive services available.) While the programs 
disregard veteran status, they may provide services to veterans who 
receive HUD rental assistance. HUD does not collect information 
identifying veteran households that its supportive services programs 
serve, but agency officials stated that HUD's supportive services 
programs likely assist a small number of veterans because the programs 
serve a relatively small percentage of all assisted households. 

HUD Generally Does Not Distinguish Between Income Sources That Are 
Veteran-Specific and Other Types of Income Sources: 

When determining income eligibility and subsidy amounts, HUD generally 
does not distinguish between income sources that are specific to 
veterans, such as VA-provided benefits, and other types of income. HUD 
policies define household income as the anticipated gross annual income 
of the household, which includes income from all sources received by 
the family head, spouse, and each additional family member who is 18 
years of age or older. Specifically, annual income includes, but is not 
limited to, wages and salaries, periodic amounts from pensions or death 
benefits, and unemployment and disability compensation.[Footnote 16] 
HUD policies identify 39 separate income sources and benefits that are 
excluded when determining eligibility and subsidy amounts. These 
exclusions relate to income that is nonrecurring or sporadic in nature, 
health care benefits, student financial aid, and assistance from 
certain employment training and economic self-sufficiency 
programs.[Footnote 17] 

We found that, based on HUD's policies on income exclusions, most types 
of income and benefits that veteran households receive from VA would be 
excluded when determining eligibility for HUD's programs and subsidy 
amounts. (See table 12 in app. IV for a detailed listing of these 
benefits). Many of the excluded benefits relate to payments that 
veteran households receive under certain economic self-sufficiency 
programs or nonrecurring payments such as insurance claims. Of the 
benefits included, most are associated with recurring or regular 
sources of income, such as disability compensation, pensions, and 
survivor death benefits. 

Of the 39 exclusions, we found that two income exclusions specifically 
applied to certain veteran households but, according to HUD, these 
exclusions are rarely used. These income exclusions are (1) payments 
made to Vietnam War-era veterans from the Agent Orange Settlement Fund 
and (2) payments to children of Vietnam War-era veterans who suffer 
from spina bifida. The two exclusions are identified in federal 
statutes that are separate from those authorizing the three major 
rental assistance programs.[Footnote 18] 

HUD Allocated a Limited Number of Vouchers Targeted to Certain Veterans 
Starting in 1992, but the Number of Vouchers in Use Has Been Declining: 

Under the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive 
Housing program (HUD-VASH), HUD provides rental assistance vouchers 
specifically to veterans, but the number of veterans served is 
extremely small and has been declining in recent years. Established in 
1992, HUD-VASH is jointly funded by HUD and VA and offers formerly 
homeless veterans an opportunity to obtain permanent housing, as well 
as ongoing case management and supportive services. HUD allocated these 
special vouchers to selected PHAs that had applied for funding, and VA 
was responsible for identifying participants based on specific 
eligibility criteria, including the veteran's need for treatment of a 
mental illness or substance abuse disorder.[Footnote 19] After 
selecting eligible veterans, VA and the PHA worked together to help the 
veterans use the vouchers to rent suitable housing, and VA provided 
ongoing case management, health, and other supportive services. 

Under the HUD-VASH initiative, HUD allocated 1,753 vouchers from fiscal 
years 1992 through 1994. HUD funded these vouchers for 5 years and, if 
a veteran left the program during this period, the PHA had to reissue 
the voucher to another eligible veteran.[Footnote 20] VA officials 
stated that, after the 5-year period ended, PHAs had the option of 
continuing to use their allocation of vouchers for HUD-VASH, or could 
discontinue participation whenever a veteran left the program (that is, 
the PHA would not provide the voucher to another eligible veteran upon 
turnover). According to VA and HUD officials, after the 5-year period 
ended, many PHAs decided not to continue in HUD-VASH after assisted 
veterans left the program; instead, PHAs exercised the option of 
providing these vouchers to other households under the housing choice 
voucher program.[Footnote 21] As a result, the number of veterans that 
receive HUD-VASH vouchers has declined. Based on VA data, about 1,000 
veterans were in the program as of the end of fiscal year 2006, and 
this number is likely to decline. Specifically, VA officials estimated 
that the number of veterans served could drop to 400 because PHAs 
responsible for more than 600 vouchers have decided not to continue 
providing these vouchers to other veterans as existing participants 
leave the program. 

Congress permanently authorized HUD-VASH as part of the Homeless 
Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act of 2001.[Footnote 22] Under the 
act, Congress also authorized HUD to allocate 500 vouchers each fiscal 
year from 2003 through 2006--a total of 2,000 additional vouchers. In 
December 2006, Congress extended this authorization through fiscal year 
2011--allocating a total of 2,500 vouchers or 500 each year. However, 
HUD has not requested, and Congress has not appropriated, funds for any 
of the vouchers authorized from fiscal years 2003 through 
2007.[Footnote 23] 

Most Contacted Housing Agencies and Owners of Project-Based Properties 
Did Not Offer a Veterans' Preference for Admission to HUD's Rental 
Assistance Programs: 

Less than half of the 41 largest PHAs we contacted employed a veterans' 
preference for admission to their public housing or voucher programs, 
while the 13 largest PBCAs we contacted reported that owners of project-
based properties that they oversee generally did not use a veterans' 
preference. HUD allows, but does not require, PHAs and property owners 
to establish preferences to better direct resources to families with 
the greatest housing needs in their area. HUD does not aggregate 
information on the extent to which PHAs and property owners use 
preferences. Our review showed that 29 of the 34 largest PHAs that 
administered public housing programs in fiscal year 2006 offered 
preferences and, of these, 14 offered a veterans' preference. 
Similarly, 34 of the 40 largest PHAs that administered the housing 
choice voucher program in fiscal year 2006 offered preferences and, of 
these, 13 offered a veterans' preference. Finally, officials from the 
13 largest PBCAs told us that, in their experience, owners of project- 
based properties that they oversee generally did not employ a veterans' 
preference when selecting tenants. 

Public Housing Agencies and Property Owners May Establish Preferences 
to Meet Local Needs but Are Not Required to Do So: 

Currently, HUD's policies give PHAs and owners of project-based 
properties the discretion to establish preferences for certain groups 
when selecting households for housing assistance. Preferences affect 
only the order of applicants on a waiting list for assistance; they do 
not determine eligibility for housing assistance. Before 1998, federal 
law required PHAs and property owners to offer a preference to eligible 
applicants to their subsidized housing programs who (1) had been 
involuntarily displaced,[Footnote 24] (2) were living in substandard 
housing,[Footnote 25] or (3) were paying more than half their income 
for rent. PHAs were required by law to allocate at least 50 percent of 
their public housing units and 90 percent of their housing choice 
vouchers to applicants who met these criteria. Similarly, project-based 
owners had to allocate 70 percent of their units to newly admitted 
households that met these criteria. The Quality Housing and Work 
Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA) gave more flexibility to PHAs and 
project-based property owners to administer their programs, in part by 
eliminating the mandated housing preferences.[Footnote 26] Although it 
gave PHAs and owners more flexibility, QHWRA required that PHAs and 
owners target assistance to extremely low-income households.[Footnote 
27] 

Under QHWRA, PHAs and owners of project-based properties may, but are 
not required to, establish preferences to better direct resources to 
those with the greatest housing needs in their areas. PHAs can select 
applicants on the basis of local preferences provided that their 
process is consistent with their administrative plan.[Footnote 28] HUD 
policy requires PHAs to specify their preferences in their 
administrative plans, and HUD reviews these preferences to ensure that 
they conform to nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunity 
requirements. Similarly, HUD policy allows owners of project-based 
properties to establish preferences as long as the preferences are 
specified in their written tenant selection plans.[Footnote 29] 

While HUD requires PHAs and property owners to disclose their 
preferences in their administrative or tenant selection plans, HUD 
officials said the department does not compile or systematically track 
this information because PHAs and property owners are not required to 
have preferences. However, HUD may examine the use of preferences as 
part of specific studies or reports. For example, HUD discussed the use 
of preferences by PHAs in its November 2000 report on the use of 
discretionary authority in the housing choice voucher program. HUD 
reported that about 71 percent of the 1,684 PHAs that were reviewed 
used admission preferences for the housing choice voucher 
program.[Footnote 30] Further, the study also found that PHAs offered 
need-based preferences, as well as other local preferences, including 
those for households achieving self-sufficiency, but the report did not 
discuss whether the PHAs used a veterans' preference. 

While HUD's policies give PHAs the discretion to establish preferences 
for certain groups when selecting households (including those with 
veterans) for housing assistance, recent proposed legislation would 
develop and expand permanent housing opportunities for very low-income 
veterans.[Footnote 31] Specifically, legislation introduced in the 
Senate requires that, among other things, PHAs and states and 
localities include veterans as a special needs population in their PHA 
plans and comprehensive housing affordability strategies. 

Although Most Contacted PHAs Offered Preferences for Admission to 
Subsidized Housing, Less Than Half Offered a Veterans' Preference: 

Most of the 41 PHAs we contacted used a preference system for admission 
to their public housing and housing choice voucher programs, but less 
than half offered a veterans' preference. As shown in table 5, of the 
34 largest PHAs that administered the public housing program, 29 
established preferences for admission to the program and 14 used a 
veterans' preference. Similarly, of the 40 PHAs that administered the 
housing choice voucher program, 34 used admission preferences, and 13 
employed a preference for veterans. According to PHA officials, the 
most common preferences used for both programs were for working 
families, individuals who were unable to work because of age or 
disability, and individuals who had been involuntarily displaced or 
were homeless. Of course, veterans could benefit from these admission 
preferences if they met the criteria. 

Table 5: Number of Contacted PHAs That Used a Preference System in 
Their Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs: 

PHAs' use of preferences: PHAs with a preference system; 
Public housing: 29; 
Vouchers: 34. 

PHAs' use of preferences: With a veterans' preference; 
Public housing: 14; 
Vouchers: 13. 

PHAs' use of preferences: Without a veterans' preference; 
Public housing: 15; 
Vouchers: 21. 

PHAs' use of preferences: PHAs with no preference system; 
Public housing: 5; 
Vouchers: 6. 

PHAs' use of preferences: Total PHAs; 
Public housing: 34; 
Vouchers: 40. 

Source: GAO. 

Note: Of the 41 PHAs we contacted or visited, 7 did not administer a 
public housing program, and 1 did not administer a voucher program. 

[End of table]

Some of the PHAs we contacted offered a veterans' preference because 
their states required them to do so. Other PHA officials told us they 
offered a veterans' preference because they believed it was important 
to serve the needs of low-income veterans since they had done so much 
for the well-being of others. PHAs that we contacted that did not offer 
a veterans' preference gave various reasons for their decisions. Some 
officials told us that the PHA did not need a veterans' preference 
because veteran applicants generally qualified under other preference 
categories, such as elderly or disabled. One PHA official we contacted 
said a veterans' preference was not needed because of the relatively 
small number of veterans in the community. 

Because PHAs can employ multiple preferences, many of the PHAs that 
have a preference system weight or rank the preferences they use--that 
is, they give greater weight to an applicant who falls within a 
particular category--to determine position on the waiting list. Almost 
two-thirds of the PHAs we contacted that administer a preference system 
for their public housing programs weight or rank preferences. 
Nevertheless, only four of these weighted systems allow for veterans to 
receive priority over other populations who received other preferences. 
Similarly, a little more than half of the PHAs who use preferences for 
their housing choice voucher programs weighted or ranked preferences. 
But only three of these PHAs gave priority to veterans over other 
populations that also were eligible to receive a preference. The 
remaining PHAs that have a preference system for their public housing 
or housing choice voucher programs told us that they either assigned 
equal weight to the preferences they offered, or used date and time or 
a lottery system to determine the order in which they selected 
applicants from waiting lists. 

In a 2004 examination of PHAs' waiting lists, the National Low Income 
Housing Coalition found that more than three-quarters of the agencies 
that it reviewed used preferences for specific categories of applicants 
to order waiting lists for their public housing and housing choice 
voucher programs.[Footnote 32] In addition, the study found that less 
than one-quarter of the agencies used a veterans' preference to 
determine the order of their waiting lists. Specifically, a little less 
than 25 percent of the PHAs that administered a public housing program 
had a veterans' preference, while 20 percent of the PHAs that ran 
housing choice voucher programs used such a preference. Furthermore, 
the study found that PHAs most commonly gave preferences to applicants 
who were employed, involuntarily displaced from previous housing, 
victims of domestic violence, or residents of the PHA's jurisdiction. 

PBCAs Said That Owners of Project-Based Properties Generally Did Not 
Use a Veterans' Preference When Selecting Tenants: 

According to all of the PBCAs we contacted, owners of project-based 
properties that they oversee generally did not employ a veterans' 
preference when selecting tenants. Ten of the 13 largest PBCAs told us, 
based on their review of property owners' tenant selection plans, that 
owners of project-based properties generally did not employ preferences 
for any specific population.[Footnote 33] Officials from the remaining 
three PBCAs said they were aware of some property owners offering 
preferences to individuals who had been involuntarily displaced, 
working families, or those unable to work because of age or disability. 
However, all the PBCAs we contacted either said that property owners 
did not use preferences or agreed that the use of preferences, 
including a veterans' preference, among owners of properties with 
project-based assistance was limited. HUD officials to whom we spoke 
also stated, based on their experience with tenant selection plans, 
that the use of preferences at project-based properties likely was 
infrequent. 

Although most PBCAs stated that property owners did not generally 
employ preferences, the use of such preferences can vary significantly 
even within one PBCA's portfolio of properties. For example, a PBCA 
official said that the demand for subsidized housing can influence 
whether owners use preferences. Properties in communities with a high 
demand for subsidized housing may need to establish preferences to 
manage waiting lists, and those in communities with low demand may not 
need to use preferences. 

Veteran Households Were Less Likely to Receive HUD Rental Assistance 
Than Other Low-Income Households: 

Our analysis of ACS, HUD, and VA data shows that, in 2005, low-income 
veteran renter households were less likely to receive rental assistance 
than other low-income households. An estimated 11 percent of all low- 
income veteran renter households received HUD rental assistance, 
compared with 19 percent of other low-income households. Although the 
reasons for this difference are unclear, various factors--such as 
different levels of need for affordable housing among veteran and other 
households--could contribute to the disparity. In 2005, at least 
250,000 low-income veteran households received rental assistance under 
HUD's programs--representing about 6 percent of all households that 
received such assistance. The demographic characteristics of these 
veteran-assisted households differed somewhat from those of other 
(nonveteran) assisted households; for example, veteran-assisted 
households were more likely to have a disability compared with other 
assisted households. 

Eleven Percent of All Low-Income Veteran Households Received HUD Rental 
Assistance Compared with 19 Percent of Other Low-Income Households: 

Low-income veteran renter households were less likely to receive HUD 
rental assistance than other households. As shown in table 6, of the 
total 2.3 million veteran renter households with low incomes, at least 
250,000 (or 11 percent) received HUD assistance. In comparison, of the 
22 million other renter households with low incomes, 4.1 million (about 
19 percent) received HUD assistance.[Footnote 34] (As noted previously, 
although HUD is the largest provider of federal rental housing 
assistance to low-income households, it is not the sole source of such 
assistance. Thus, these percentages likely understate the actual share 
of all eligible veteran renter households that receive federal rental 
assistance.) 

Table 6: Estimated Number of Low-Income Veteran and Other Renter 
Households, by HUD Assistance, 2005: 

Households in thousands. 

HUD assisted; 
Veteran household: Number: 254; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 11%; 
Other household: Number: 4,147; 
Other household: Percentage: 19%. 

Unassisted; 
Veteran household: Number: 1,794; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 78; 
Other household: Number: 15,933; 
Other household: Percentage: 73. 

With an affordability problem; 
Veteran household: Number: 1,285; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 56; 
Other household: Number: 13,856; 
Other household: Percentage: 63. 

Without an affordability problem[A]; 
Veteran household: Number: 509; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 22; 
Other household: Number: 2,117; 
Other household: Percentage: 10. 

Other[B]; 
Veteran household: Number: 235; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 10; 
Other household: Number: 1,893; 
Other household: Percentage: 9. 

Total[C]; 
Veteran household: Number: 2,283; 
Veteran household: Percentage: 100%; 
Other household: Number: 22,013; 
Other household: Percentage: 100%. 

Sources: GAO analysis of VA's Beneficiary Identification and Records 
Location Subsystem, HUD's Public Housing Information Center and Tenant 
Rental Assistance Certification System, and sample survey data from 
2005 ACS. 

[A] ACS does not identify households that receive federal rental 
assistance. Therefore, to determine the number of unassisted low-income 
households without an affordability problem, we took the difference 
between the number of HUD-assisted households derived from HUD data 
systems and ACS' reported number of low-income renter households 
without an affordability problem. We assumed that HUD-assisted 
households were included in ACS data among those households that did 
not have an affordability problem. 

[B] "Other" includes households that reported zero income or paid no 
cash rent. 

[C] Household counts and percentages may not add due to rounding. 

[End of table] 

The reasons why other households were nearly twice as likely as veteran 
households to receive HUD assistance are unclear. But, based on our 
analyses and discussions with agency officials, some potential 
explanations include (1) differences in the extent of housing needs 
between veteran and other households, (2) infrequent use of a veterans' 
preference by PHAs and property owners, and (3) statutory requirements 
for targeting extremely low-income households. First, as discussed 
earlier in this report, although a significant proportion of low-income 
veteran households face affordability problems, an even larger 
proportion of other (nonveteran) households face more severe 
affordability problems. Thus, the level of veteran demand for rental 
assistance may be lower than that of nonveteran households. Second, and 
again as discussed earlier in this report, HUD rental assistance 
programs do not take veteran status into account when determining 
eligibility, and most PHAs and property owners do not offer a veterans' 
preference. As a result, these policy decisions likely focus resources 
on other types of low-income households with housing needs. Third, 
although low-income households generally are eligible to receive rental 
assistance from HUD's three programs, statute requires that a certain 
percentage of new program participants must be extremely low income. 
These targeting requirements may lead to a higher share of HUD rental 
assistance going to nonveteran households because veteran households 
generally are less likely to fall within the extremely low-income 
category. 

According to HUD, other federal rental assistance programs (such as 
IRS's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, HUD's HOME, and USDA's rental 
assistance programs) also can provide assistance to veterans. Thus, the 
share of veterans receiving HUD rental assistance does not reflect the 
share of veterans that receive some other form of federal rental 
assistance. Furthermore, according to HUD, veterans may be more likely 
to receive rental assistance from some of these other programs, in part 
because these other programs do not target extremely low-income 
households as do HUD's voucher, public housing, and project-based 
programs. However, data are not available to determine the extent to 
which veterans may be benefiting from other forms of federal rental 
assistance. 

An Estimated 6 Percent of All HUD-Assisted Households Were Veteran 
Households: 

In fiscal year 2005, HUD's rental assistance programs reached an 
estimated 250,000 low-income veteran households, which constituted 
approximately 6 percent of all HUD-assisted households. The housing 
choice voucher program served the largest number of veteran households, 
followed by the project-based program, and the public housing program 
(see fig. 5). However, a slightly higher proportion of veteran 
households participated in the public housing program (6.9 percent) 
than participated in the voucher (5.7 percent) and project-based (5.2 
percent) programs. 

Figure 5: Number and Percentage of Low-Income Veteran Households 
Assisted by the Voucher, Public Housing, and Project-Based Programs, 
Fiscal Year 2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Sources: GAO analysis of VA's Beneficiary Identification and Records 
Location Subsystem and HUD's Public Housing Information Center ans 
Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System.

[End of figure] 

Compared with Other Households, Veterans Who Received HUD Assistance 
Were as Likely to Be Elderly but More Likely to Have a Disability: 

We found some similarities in the demographic characteristics of 
veterans and other assisted households we analyzed. For example, 
compared with other assisted households, HUD-assisted veteran 
households were as likely to be elderly. Specifically, in fiscal year 
2005, about 75,000, or 30 percent, of assisted veteran households were 
elderly, and about 1.3 million, or 31 percent, of other assisted 
households were elderly. About 40,000, or 54 percent, of these elderly 
veteran households received assistance through project-based programs. 
Public housing provided rental assistance to about 20,000 elderly 
veteran households and vouchers to about 15,000. 

HUD-assisted veteran households were more likely to have a disability. 
In fiscal year 2005, HUD provided assistance to about 88,000 veteran 
households with a disability, or about 34 percent of assisted veteran 
households. In comparison, 1.2 million or 28 percent of other assisted 
households had a disability. Among veteran households with a 
disability, about 41,000 (or 46 percent) received assistance from 
vouchers. Public housing and project-based programs each provided 
rental assistance to less than one-third of these households with a 
disability (about 24,000 and 23,000, respectively). Appendix V contains 
more detailed information about the number and percentages of HUD- 
assisted veteran households in each state and the District of Columbia. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

We provided VA and HUD with a draft of this report for review and 
comment. In an e-mail from its Office of Congressional and Legislative 
Affairs, VA agreed with the findings that related to VA and offered no 
other comments. HUD provided comments in a letter from the Deputy 
Assistant Secretary for Public Housing and Voucher Programs, Office of 
Public and Indian Housing; this letter is reprinted in appendix VI. 

The Assistant Secretary's letter states that "HUD objects to the 
characterization that policies for its three major rental assistance 
programs generally do not take veteran status into account when 
determining eligibility or assistance levels[,]" and notes that "HUD 
cannot mandate that a PHA establish any particular type of preference" 
for their voucher program. Our report does not state that HUD can 
mandate preferences for any of the three major rental assistance 
programs but rather acknowledges that the Quality Housing and Work 
Responsibility Act of 1998 repealed federally mandated preferences and 
provided individual PHAs and property owners with the authority to 
establish preferences, including a veterans' preference. Furthermore, 
how veteran/nonveteran status affects eligibility for HUD programs is 
distinct from whether or not a preference is extended once eligibility 
has been established. As our report states, our reporting objectives 
addressed both of these issues: (1) how HUD's rental assistance 
programs treat veteran status (that is, whether a person is a veteran 
or not) and veteran-specific benefits in determining eligibility and 
subsidy amounts and (2) the extent to which PHAs and property owners 
participating in HUD's rental assistance programs establish a veterans' 
preference in their administrative and tenant selection plans. In our 
review of program eligibility policies and regulations and interviews 
with agency officials, we found no evidence that veteran status is a 
factor in determining eligibility for HUD's programs, and HUD's comment 
letter did not provide any evidence. Accordingly, we did not change our 
report in this regard. 

Our report states that, in determining eligibility for its programs, 
HUD generally does not distinguish between income that is specific to 
veterans and other sources of income. In its comments, HUD stated that 
the department's policies exclude specific types of benefits that some 
veterans may receive, such as health care benefits and income from job 
training programs. Our report acknowledges that certain types of 
veteran-specific income sources are considered as income for 
determining eligibility and subsidy amounts, but notes that it is the 
type of income that matters--such as whether or not it is recurring-- 
not the source. Our report specifically states that "when calculating 
applicants' incomes, HUD excludes most VA-provided benefits, such as 
payments for training and education or health care services, but 
includes veterans' pensions, disability payments, and survivor 
benefits, which are recurring payments." Accordingly, we did not change 
our report in response to HUD's comment. 

HUD also commented on our methodology for estimating the extent of 
veterans being served in HUD's programs. Specifically, HUD noted that 
since information for all veterans in VA's database may not be 
complete, our estimate of 250,000 veterans assisted by HUD's programs 
in 2005 would be affected. As our report states, we matched data from 
HUD on program participants with data from VA on living veterans using 
unique identifying information and used these matched data to estimate 
the percentage of low-income veteran renter households that receive HUD 
rental assistance. Our report notes that this could be an underestimate 
of the actual number of veteran households in the programs because of 
incomplete or erroneous data in either VA's or HUD's databases. In 
cases where we had incomplete information, such as missing Social 
Security numbers, we attempted alternate ways of identifying HUD- 
assisted veteran households, including matching records using both 
names and date of birth only. We continue to believe that our estimate 
is a reasonable measure of the extent to which HUD-assisted households 
are veteran households. However, in response to HUD's comment, we 
changed our report to say "at least 250,000" in order to acknowledge 
the possible undercount. 

We are sending copies of this report to interested Members of Congress, 
the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the Secretary of 
Veterans Affairs. We also will make copies available to others upon 
request. In addition, this report will be available at no charge on the 
GAO Web site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-8678 or woodd@gao.gov if you or your 
staff has any questions about this report. Contact points for our 
Office of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. Key contributors to this report are 
listed in appendix VII. 

Signed by: 

David G. Wood: 
Director, Financial Markets and: 
Community Investment: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) housing 
assistance programs in our scope include the three major rental 
assistance programs--housing choice voucher (voucher), public housing, 
and project-based programs (including the project-based Section 8, 
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, and Section 811 
Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs). 

To determine the income status and demographic and housing 
characteristics of veteran households, we analyzed data from the U.S. 
Bureau of the Census's (Census) 2005 American Community Survey (ACS), 
which identified households' veteran status, income, and other 
demographic characteristics, in conjunction with HUD's defined income 
categories: low (80 percent or less of area median income or AMI), very 
low (50 percent or less of AMI), and extremely low (30 percent or less 
of AMI). 

ACS is an annual survey conducted by Census to obtain current 
information about the demographic, socioeconomic, and housing 
characteristics of all U.S. communities nationwide. ACS is scheduled to 
replace the traditional long-form survey in the decennial census, 
beginning in 2010. As of January 2005, ACS collected information for 
3,141 counties, American Indian reservations, Alaska Native tribal 
areas, and Hawaiian homelands in the United States. 

Using HUD's income limits for fiscal year 2005, we estimated, by 
geographic area, the number of veteran households that were in each 
income category.[Footnote 35] We also used information on veteran 
households in ACS to describe their demographics, as well as the cost 
and quality of their housing. Specifically, we obtained information on 
the household's tenure (renter-or owner-occupied), disability status, 
elderly status, race and ethnicity, housing affordability categories 
(for example, households that paid 30 percent or less, 30.1 to 50 
percent, and more than 50 percent of household income in rent), extent 
of overcrowding, and indicators of housing quality. Census prepared 
tabulations of these results based on our specifications. 

ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with an 
annual sample size of about 3 million addresses. The ACS survey uses 
probability sampling, which helps ensure the integrity of sample survey 
results and that they are representative. Because a survey produces 
estimates of the whole population using only a portion of the 
population, all survey estimates contain sampling errors. This means 
that the estimates derived from the sample would be different if the 
survey had selected another sample. Since each sample could have 
provided different estimates, we express our confidence in the 
precision of this sample's results as 90 percent confidence 
intervals.[Footnote 36] This is the interval that would contain the 
actual population value for 90 percent of the samples that could have 
been drawn. As a result, we are 90 percent confident that each of the 
confidence intervals will include the true values in the study 
population. In this report, instead of providing the upper and lower 
confidence bounds, we provide margin of error, which is the difference 
between an estimate and its upper or lower confidence bound. We express 
margin of error as a percentage (for example, plus or minus 7 percent). 

The sample for the 2005 ACS does not contain information on all 
veterans in the United States. Specifically, the sample design does not 
include individuals who live in group quarters--which include college 
dormitories, correctional facilities, and certain types of nursing 
facilities and hospitals--or homeless individuals. As a result, ACS 
likely underestimates the number of veterans to the extent that 
veterans live in group quarters or are homeless. 

We assessed the reliability of the data we received from Census by 
reviewing relevant documentation, interviewing knowledgeable officials, 
performing electronic testing of the data, and replicating published 
tables. In addition, we reviewed Census' quality review process to 
ensure the completeness and accuracy of the tabulation that Census 
prepared at our request. We determined that the data are reliable for 
the purposes of this report. 

To determine whether HUD's rental assistance programs take veteran 
status into account when determining eligibility and subsidy amount, we 
reviewed HUD's policies and regulations for the voucher, public 
housing, and project-based programs. To assess how these programs treat 
veteran-specific income and benefits, we reviewed HUD's policies and 
regulations that define annual income, which is used to determine 
eligibility and calculate subsidy amounts. We also interviewed 
officials from HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

To determine whether public housing agencies (PHA) and property owners 
participating in HUD's programs have established a veterans' 
preference, we interviewed officials from the 41 largest PHAs that 
administer the public housing program (34 PHAs) and the voucher program 
(41 PHAs) and the 13 largest performance-based contract administrators 
(PBCA) that oversee property management under the project-based rental 
assistance programs.[Footnote 37] Specifically, the PHAs and PBCAs that 
we interviewed were responsible for administering or overseeing more 
than half of the dollar assistance provided through each of the three 
programs in fiscal year 2005. However, the information on preferences 
cannot be statistically generalized to the other PHAs and property 
owners. We reviewed HUD's policies and regulations for establishing 
preferences and obtained information from officials on the extent to 
which preferences, particularly a veterans' preference, were used for 
tenant selection purposes. Additionally, we obtained and analyzed 
studies by HUD and others on the use of preferences in general. 

To determine the extent to which HUD's rental assistance programs 
served veteran households in fiscal year 2005, we matched data from HUD 
on program participants with data from VA on living veterans and used 
these matched data to estimate the percentage of low-income veteran 
renter households that received HUD assistance. To determine the extent 
to which veteran households were served by HUD's rental assistance 
programs, we obtained information on households receiving rental 
assistance from HUD's administrative databases--Public and Indian 
Housing Information Center (PIC) and Tenant Rental Assistance 
Certification System (TRACS), as of September 30, 2005, and information 
on all living veterans from VA's Beneficiary Identification and Records 
Location Subsystem (BIRLS), as of October 1, 2004.[Footnote 38] We 
matched data from HUD on program participants with data from VA on 
living veterans. Specifically, we matched the Social Security numbers, 
first and last names, and date of birth of the assisted households in 
PIC and TRACS with the corresponding information for veterans in BIRLS. 
For the records in PIC and TRACS that were matched to BIRLS, about 65 
percent matched on Social Security number, first and last names, and 
date of birth; about 30 percent matched on Social Security number and 
some combination of names and date of birth; and about 5 percent 
matched on names and date of birth only. We used the resulting matched 
information to determine the number of veteran households that received 
rental assistance from HUD and the annual subsidy amount that HUD paid 
to veteran households in 2005. Our totals of HUD-assisted veteran 
households could underestimate the actual number of veteran households 
in the programs because of a lack of complete information on all living 
veterans in the data we obtained from VA. For example, Social Security 
numbers, which we used to match VA and HUD data, may not have been 
available for all veterans who served in the 1970s or earlier. However, 
we attempted to adjust for this by also conducting a match on veterans' 
names and dates of birth only. Data entry errors in both VA and HUD 
systems also could contribute to fewer successful matches. 

To assess the reliability of the HUD data from the PIC and TRACS 
databases, and the VA data from the BIRLS database, we reviewed 
relevant documentation, interviewed knowledgeable officials, and 
conducted electronic testing of the data. We determined the data were 
sufficiently reliable for us to identify veterans who received 
assistance through HUD rental programs. 

For all of our research objectives, we consulted with officials from 
various housing and veterans groups, including Harvard University's 
Joint Center on Housing Studies, the National Low Income Housing 
Coalition, the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans, the Corporation 
for Supportive Housing, Vietnam Veterans of America, the American 
Legion, and Volunteers of America. We also surveyed the literature on 
these topics. 

We conducted our work primarily in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los 
Angeles, and Washington, D.C., from March 2006 through July 2007 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Demographic and Housing Characteristics of Low-Income 
Veteran Renters: 

Table 7: Number of Low-Income Renter Households by Household 
Characteristics, 2005: 

Characteristics: Race and ethnicity: White, Non-Hispanic/Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 1,567,625:(±1%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 69%: (±0.5); 
Other household: Number: 11,259,715: (±0.6%); 
Other household: Percentage: 51%: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Race and Ethnicity: Black or African-American, Non-
Hispanic/Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 452,200: (±3%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 20: (±0.5); 
Other household: Number: 4,880,335: (±1%); 
Other household: Percentage: 22: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Race and Ethnicity: American Indian and Alaska Native, 
Non-Hispanic/ Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 27,890: (±9%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 1: (±0.1); 
Other household: Number: 191,995: (±4%); 
Other household: Percentage: 1: (±0.0). 

Characteristics: Race and Ethnicity: Asian, Non-Hispanic/Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 31,605: (±10%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 1: (±0.1); 
Other household: Number: 935,765: (±2%); 
Other household: Percentage: 4: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Race and Ethnicity: Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific 
Islander, Non- Hispanic/Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 3,550: (±34%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 0: (±0.1); 
Other household: Number: 36,525: (±10%); 
Other household: Percentage: 0: (±0.0). 

Characteristics: Race and Ethnicity: Other (including some other race 
and two or more races), Non-Hispanic/Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 45,195: (±9%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 2: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 358,310: (±3%); 
Other household: Percentage: 2:(±0.1). 

Characteristics: Race and Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino; 
Veteran household: Number: 154,645: (±5%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 7: (±0.3); 
Other household: Number: 4,350,295: (±1%); 
Other household: Percentage: 20: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Household size: 1 person; 
Veteran household: Number: 995,620: (±2%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 44: (±0.6); 
Other household: Number: 9,086,420: (±0.7%); 
Other household: Percentage: 41: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Household size: 2 persons; 
Veteran household: Number: 694,420: (±2%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 30: (±0.5); 
Other household: Number: 4,978,185: (±1.0); 
Other household: Percentage: 23: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Household size: 3 persons; 
Veteran household: Number: 240,765: (±4%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 11: (±0.4); 
Other household: Number: 3,343,150: (±1%); 
Other household: Percentage: 15: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Household size: 4 persons; 
Veteran household: Number: 190,650: (±4%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 8: (±0.4); 
Other household: Number: 2,487,920: (±1%); 
Other household: Percentage: 11: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Household size: 5 persons; 
Veteran household: Number: 95,660: (±6%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 4: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 1,282,555: (±2%); 
Other household: Percentage: 6: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Household size: 6 persons; 
Veteran household: Number: 43,965: (±9%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 2: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 535,290: (±3%); 
Other household: Percentage: 2: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Household size: 7 persons or more; 
Veteran household: Number: 21,635: (±14%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 1: (±0.1);
Other household: Number: 299,425: (±4%); 
Other household: Percentage: 1: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Housing overcrowding: Less than or equal to 1.01 
(person per room); 
Veteran household: Number: 2,209,240: (±1%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 97: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 20,469,770: (±0.5%); 
Other household: Percentage: 93: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Housing overcrowding: Greater than 1.01 and less than 
or equal to 1.51 (person per room); 
Veteran household: Number: 55,890: (±8%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 2: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 1,120,075: (±2%); 
Other household: Percentage: 5: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Housing overcrowding: Greater than 1.51 (person per 
room); 
Veteran household: Number: 17,590: (±15); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 1: (±0.1);  
Other household: Number: 423,085: (±3%); 
Other household: Percentage: 2: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Housing affordibility: Zero income/no cash rent; 
Veteran household: Number: 234,535: (±3%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 10: (±0.3); 
Other household: Number: 1,892,710: (±1%); 
Other household: Percentage: 9: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Housing affordibility: Greater than 0% and less than 
or equal to 30%; 
Veteran household: Number: 763,640: (±2%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 33: (±0.6); 
Other household: Number: 6,264,690: (±0.9%); 
Other household: Percentage: 28: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Housing affordibility: Greater than 30% and less than 
or equal to 50%; 
Veteran household: Number: 699,470: (±2%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 31: (±0.5); 
Other household: Number: 6,260,495: (±0.9%); 
Other household: Percentage: 28: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Housing affordibility: Greater than 50%; 
Veteran household: Number: 585,070: (±3%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 26: (±0.6); 
Other household: Number: 7,595,035: (±0.8%); 
Other household: Percentage: 35: (±0.2). 

Characteristics: Adequacy of housing: Plumbing and kitchen complete; 
Veteran household: Number: 2,229,455: (±1%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 98: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 21,678,730: (±0.5%); 
Other household: Percentage: 98: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Adequacy of housing: Plumbing or kitchen not complete; 
Veteran household: Number: 53,260: (±7%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 2: (±0.2); 
Other household: Number: 334,205: (±4%); 
Other household: Percentage: 2: (±0.1). 

Characteristics: Total; 
Veteran household: Number: 2,282,720: (±1%); 
Veteran household: Percentage: 100%: 
Other household: Number: 22,012,930: (±0.5); 
Other household: Percentage: 100%. 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. Margins of error are reported 
in parentheses. 

[End of table]

Table 8: Number of Veteran Renter Households, by State, 2005: 

State: Alabama; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 59,995: (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 32,020: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53%: (±4). 

State: Alaska; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 18,000: (±11%);
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 10,040: (±15%0;  
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 56: (±6). 

State: Arizona; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 93,490: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 42,920: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 46: (±3). 

State: Arkansas; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 49,355: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 27,550: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 56: (±4). 

State: California; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 493,675: (±3%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 236,150: (±4%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±2). 

State: Colorado; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 74,200: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 42,155: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 57: (±3). 

State: Connecticut; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 45,475: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 25,520: (±11%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 56: (±4). 

State: Delaware; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 10,860: (±15%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 4,885: (±22%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 45: (±7). 

State: District of Columbia; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 11,870: (±16%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 7,330: (±20%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 62: (±8). 

State: Florida; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 277,570: (±3%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 119,150: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 43: (±2). 

State: Georgia; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 141,195: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 73,970: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 52: (±3). 

State: Hawaii; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 34,725: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 14,735: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 42: (±5). 

State: Idaho; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 25,150: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Low- income: 13,155: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 52: (±5). 

State: Illinois; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 138,835: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 85,055: (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 61: (±2). 

State: Indiana; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 81,250: (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 51,420: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 63: (±3). 

State: Iowa; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 37,120: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Low- income: 23,055: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 62: (±3). 

State: Kansas; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 44,860: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 25,580: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 57: (±2). 

State: Kentucky; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 60,040: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 34,630: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 58; (±4). 

State: Louisiana; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 59,350; (±7%); 
Low-income: 29,270; (±11%); 
Percentage: 49; (±4). 

State: Maine; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 25,810: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 14,025: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 54: (±5). 

State: Maryland; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 89,965: (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 46,990: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 52: (±4). 

State: Massachusetts; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 89,720: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 53,180: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 59: (±4). 

State: Michigan; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 110,000: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 71,400: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 65: (±3). 

State: Minnesota; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 54,200: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 34,635: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 64: (±4). 

State: Mississippi; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 37,275: (±9%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 16,705: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 45: (±5). 

State: Missouri; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 91,185: (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 55,170: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 61: (±2). 

State: Montana; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 19,355: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 10,160: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 52: (±5). 

State: Nebraska; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 28,710: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 16,380: (±13%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 57: (±5). 

State: Nevada; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 59,265: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 28,445: (±11%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±4). 

State: New Hampshire; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 21,695: (±11%); 
Low-income: 10,920: (±15%); 
Percentage: 50: (±5). 

State: New Jersey; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 88,205; (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 48,295: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 55: (±3). 

State: New Mexico; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 32,015: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 16,415: (±16%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 51: (±6). 

State: New York; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 253,320; (±3%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 135,060: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53: (±2). 

State: North Carolina; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 135,660: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 68,515: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 51: (±3). 

State: North Dakota; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 14,190: (±13%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 7,470: (±15%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53: (±4). 

State: Ohio; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 171,070: (±4%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 104,710: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 61: (±2). 

State: Oklahoma; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 64,110: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 33,925: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53: (±4). 

State: Oregon; Veteran renter household: All income: 75,540: (±7%); 
Low-income: 44,575: (±9%); 
Percentage: 59: (±3). 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 175,275: (±4%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 104,535: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 60: (±2). 

State: Rhode Island; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 20,795: (±12%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 12,960: (±15%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 62: (±6). 

State: South Carolina; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 70,810: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 37,680: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53: (±3). 

State: South Dakota; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 13,360: (±13%); 
Low-income: 8,260: (±18%); 
Percentage: 62: (±8). 

State: Tennessee; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 87,575: (±6%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 47,070: (±8%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 54: (±3). 

State: Texas; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 302,390: (±3%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 142,150: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 47: (±2). 

State: Utah; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 21,300: (±11%); 
Veteran renter household: Low- income: 10,400: (±17%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 49: (±6). 

State: Vermont; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 9,665: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 5,955: (±20%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 62: (±9). 

State: Virginia; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 147,980: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 60,580: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 41: (±2). 

State: Washington; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 127,215: (±4%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 73,795: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 58: (±2). 

State: West Virginia; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 24,210: (±10%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 12,895: (±14%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53: (±5). 

State: Wisconsin; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 76,880: (±5%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 46,000: (±7%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 60: (±3). 

State: Wyoming; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 10,705: (±17%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 4,850: (±26%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 45: (±9). 

State: Total; 
Veteran renter household: All income: 4,306,475: (±1%); 
Veteran renter household: Low-income: 2,282,720: (±1%); 
Veteran renter household: Percentage: 53%: (±0.4). 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. Margins of error are reported 
in parentheses. 

[End of table]

Table 9: Number of Low-Income Veteran Renter Households with Moderate 
or Severe Housing Affordability Problems, by State, 2005: 

State: Alabama; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 32,020: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 14,465: (±6%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 45%: (±6). 

State: Alaska; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 10,040; (±15%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 4,930: (±8%); 
Percentage: 49: (±8). 

State: Arizona; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 42,920: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 24,610: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 57: (±4). 

State: Arkansas; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 27,550: (±10%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 14,375: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 52: (±5). 

State: California; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 236,150: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 160,770: (±2%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 68: (±2). 

State: Colorado; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 42,155: (±8%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 24,695: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 59: (±5). 

State: Connecticut; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 25,520: (±11%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 13,715: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 54: (±7). 

State: Delaware; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 4,885: (±22%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 2,595: (±13%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 53: (±13). 

State: District of Columbia; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 7,330: (±20%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 4,750: (±12%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 65: (±12). 

State: Florida; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 119,150: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 76,985: (±3%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 65: (±3). 

State: Georgia; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 73,970: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 39,940: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 54: (±4). 

State: Hawaii; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 14,735: (±14%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 9,290: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 63: (±7). 

State: Idaho; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 13,155: (±14%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 6,285: (±8%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±8). 

State: Illinois; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 85,055: (±6%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 43,530: (±3%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 51: (±3). 

State: Indiana; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 51,420; (±8%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 24,645: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±4). 

State: Iowa; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 23,055; (±10%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 10,565: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 46: (±5). 

State: Kansas; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 25,580: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 10,710: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 42: (±5). 

State: Kentucky; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 34,630: (±9%); 
Households with an affordability problem: 18,165: (±4%); 
Percentage: 52: (±4). 

State: Louisiana; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 29,270: (±11%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 15,665: (±6%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 54: (±6). 

State: Maine; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 14,025: (±14%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 8,290: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 59; (±7). 

State: Maryland; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 46,990: (±10%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 27,210: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 58: (±5). 

State: Massachusetts; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 53,180: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 30,450: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 57: (±5). 

State: Michigan; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 71,400; (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 39,185: (±3%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 55: (±3). 

State: Minnesota; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 34,635: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 18,950: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 55: (±4). 

State: Mississippi; Low-income veteran renter household: Total 
households: 16,705; (±14%); 
Households with an affordability problem: 9,385: (±8%); 
Percentage: 56: (±8). 

State: Missouri; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 55,170: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 26,525: (±3%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±3). 

State: Montana; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 10,160: (±14%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 5,280: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 52: (±7). 

State: Nebraska; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 16,380: (±13%); 
Households with an affordability problem: 6,720: (±6%); 
Percentage: 41: (±6). 

State: Nevada; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 28,445: (±11%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 19,920: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 70: (±5). 

State: New Hampshire; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 10,920: (±15%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 7,175: (±7%); 
Percentage: 66: (±7). 

State: New Jersey; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 48,295: (±8%); 
Households with an affordability problem: 30,895: (±5%); 
Percentage: 64: (±5). 

State: New Mexico; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 16,415: (±16%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 10,245: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 62: (±7). 

State: New York; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 135,060: (±5%); 
Households with an affordability problem: 80,610: (±2%); 
Percentage: 60: (±2). 

State: North Carolina; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 68,515: (±8%); 
Households with an affordability problem: 37,805: (±4%); 
Percentage: 55: (±4). 

State: North Dakota; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 7,470: (±15%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 2,745: (±8%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 37: (±8). 

State: Ohio; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 104,710: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 53,445: (±2%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 51: (±2). 

State: Oklahoma; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 33,925: (±10%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 15,850: (±6%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 47: (±6). 

State: Oregon; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 44,575: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 26,010: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 58: (±4). 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 104,535: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 56,245: (±2%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 54: (±2). 

State: Rhode Island; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 12,960: (±15%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 6,195: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±7). 

State: South Carolina; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 37,680: (±10%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 19,085: (±6%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 51: (±6). 

State: South Dakota; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 8,260: (±18%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 3,480: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 42: (±7). 

State: Tennessee; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 47,070: (±8%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 24,230; (±5%);
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 51; (±5). 

State: Texas; Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 
142,150: (±5%); Households with an affordability problem: 82,100: 
(±2%); Percentage: 58: (±2). 

State: Utah; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 10,400: (±17%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 4,695: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 45: (±9). 

State: Vermont; Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 
5,955: (±20%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 2,955: (±11%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 50: (±11). 

State: Virginia; Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 
60,580: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 37,170: (±3%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 61: (±3). 

State: Washington; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 73,795: (±5%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 41,870: (±4%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 57: (±4). 

State: West Virginia; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 12,895: (±14%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 5,765: (±9%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 45: (±9). 

State: Wisconsin; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 46,000: (±7%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 21,035: (±3%); 
Percentage: 46: (±3). 

State: Wyoming; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 4,850: (±26%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 2,330: (±13%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 48: (±13). 

State: Total; 
Low-income veteran renter household: Total households: 2,282,720: 
(±1%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Households with an affordability 
problem: 1,284,540: (±2%); 
Low-income veteran renter household: Percentage: 56%: (±0.6%). 

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding. Margins of error are reported 
in parentheses. 

[End of table] 

Table 10: Number of Low-Income Households with Housing Affordability 
Problems for the 50 Largest Metropolitan Areas, by Veteran Status, 
2005: 

[See PDF for image]

Source: GAO analysis of sample survey data from 2005 ACS. 

Note: Margins of error are reported in parentheses. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Information on HUD's Supportive Services Programs 
Available to Veterans: 

Historically, Congress has recognized the importance of providing 
supportive services to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming 
homeless. Most of HUD's rental assistance programs are not required to 
provide supportive services, with the exception of the Section 202 
Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 Supportive Housing 
for Persons with Disabilities programs.[Footnote 39] However, 
households participating in HUD's rental assistance programs can 
receive supportive services, typically through separate programs funded 
by HUD. Table 11 contains descriptions of these programs. 

Table 11: Description of HUD Supportive Services Programs Available to 
Veterans: 

Dollars in millions. 

Program: Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS); 
Description: Provides funding for FSS program coordinators to work with 
local private and public sources to provide supportive services to 
tenants to help them obtain employment and achieve economic 
independence and self-sufficiency. Supportive services most commonly 
provided include child care, transportation, remedial education, and 
job training; 
Type of funding: Grants; 
FY 2005 budget authority: $46.0; 
Eligible households: Households living in public housing or receiving 
housing choice vouchers; 
Entity receiving funding: Public housing agencies. 

Program: Multifamily housing service coordinators; 
Description: Provides funding for service coordinators who assist 
elderly individuals and persons with disabilities to obtain needed 
supportive services from community agencies; 
Type of funding: Grants, excess income from a property (residual 
receipts), rent increases; 
FY 2005 budget authority: $50.0; 
Eligible households: Households with a member who is elderly or has a 
disability living in HUD project-based housing; 
Entity receiving funding: Owners of project-based properties. 

Program: Neighborhood networks; 
Description: Funding to provide computer and Internet access and job 
training to tenants; 
Type of funding: Grants; 
FY 2005 budget authority: $15.0; 
Eligible households: Households living in public housing; 
Entity receiving funding: Public housing agencies. 

Program: Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS); 
Description: Funding to provide supportive services to help (1) tenants 
transition from welfare to work through job training programs and (2) 
the elderly and persons with disabilities live independently; 
Type of funding: Grants; 
FY 2005 budget authority: $53.0; 
Eligible households: Households living in public housing; 
Entity receiving funding: PHAs and nonprofits. 

Program: Congregate Housing Services; 
Description: Funding to provide meals and other nonmedical supportive 
services; 
Type of funding: Grants; 
FY 2005 budget authority: No new grants since 1995; 
Eligible households: Households with a member who is elderly or has a 
disability living in HUD project-based and public housing; 
Entity receiving funding: State and local governments, PHAs, and 
nonprofits. 

Program: Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA); 
Description: Provides housing assistance and related supportive 
services to low- income persons with HIV/AIDS and their families; 
Type of funding: Grants and formula allocations; 
FY 2005 budget authority: $282.0; Eligible households: Low-income 
persons with HIV/AIDS and their families; 
Entity receiving funding: States, cities, and nonprofit organizations. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: HUD's Policies on Eligibility and Subsidy Amounts with 
Respect to Veteran-Specific Income and Benefits: 

When determining eligibility and subsidy amounts under HUD's rental 
assistance programs, program administrators generally must calculate a 
household's adjusted annual income, or gross income, less any 
exclusions and deductions. HUD's policies and statute provide for 39 
different types of income exclusions and 5 deductions.[Footnote 40] 
When determining income eligibility and subsidy amounts, HUD generally 
does not distinguish between income sources that are specific to 
veterans, such as benefits that VA provides and other types of incomes. 
As table 12 shows, most types of income sources and benefits that 
veteran households receive from VA would be excluded by HUD when 
determining eligibility and subsidy amounts. Excluded income sources 
and benefits generally relate to payments that veteran households 
receive under certain economic self-sufficiency programs or 
nonrecurring payments such as insurance claims. Of the benefits 
included, most are associated with recurring or regular sources of 
income, such as disability compensation, pensions, and survivor death 
benefits. 

Table 12: HUD's Treatment of Veteran Benefits in Determining Household 
Income and Subsidy Amount: 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Veterans with service-connected disabilities; 
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Monthly disability compensation (for veterans who have a 
disability due to an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during 
active military service); Included in or excluded from income: 
Included, except for payment received on or after January 1, 1989, from 
the Agent Orange Settlement Fund. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Additional disability compensation for those in need of 
regular aid and attendance of another person;
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Living allowance for participating in vocational 
rehabilitation training;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Work study allowance for participating in vocational 
rehabilitation training;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Combat-related special compensation (offsets the 
reduction in military retired pay due to the receipt of VA disability 
compensation);
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: One-time payment of up to $11,000 toward purchase of 
specially adapted automobile or other conveyance;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Annual clothing allowance (for veteran using prosthetic 
or orthopedic appliances, or with a skin condition);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: [Empty];
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Veterans without service-connected disabilities;
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Monthly pension (for wartime veterans with low incomes 
who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 years and older);
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Medal of Honor pension;
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Payments for the cost of full-time training in college, 
technical, or vocational school;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Work-study wages paid to veterans for work they do for VA 
while attending training in college, technical, or vocational school;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Life insurance payments;
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) (provides renewable 
5-year term coverage for veterans who had service members group life 
insurance at the time they separated from the service and converted 
that amount of coverage to VGLI);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Accelerated death benefits (advanced life insurance 
payments of up to 50% of coverage to terminally ill policyholders);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Service-disabled veterans insurance (up to $10,000 in 
life insurance for veterans with service- connected disabilities but 
who otherwise are in good health. Veterans who are totally disabled may 
receive additional supplemental coverage of up to $20,000);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Insurance dividends (tax-free dividends paid annually on 
selected active government life insurance policies);
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Health care services;
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Inpatient and outpatient medical care in VA facilities 
(co-pays may apply depending on veterans income);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Travel costs to receive medical care;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Free medical examinations including laboratory and other 
diagnostic tests;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Readjustment (helps veterans return to civilian life) and 
bereavement counseling;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Prosthetic and sensory aids;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Special services for blind veterans;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Mental health care;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Vocational assistance and therapeutic work opportunities 
to help veterans live and work in their communities;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Domiciliary care (for homeless veterans or veterans with 
medical, mental health, substance abuse, or other health maintenance 
needs that can be managed in a residential treatment setting);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Outpatient dental treatment;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Outpatient pharmacy services;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Emergency medical care in non-VA facilities;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Other benefits;
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Burial expenses;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Weekly unemployment compensation for a limited period of 
time for veterans who do not begin civilian employment immediately 
after leaving military service;
Included in or excluded from income: Included, except for payments 
received under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2931). 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Survivor benefits;
Included in or excluded from income: [Empty]. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Death pension (monthly payments for low-income surviving 
spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans with wartime 
service);
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Military death gratuity payment (one time payment to next 
of kin of service members who die while on active duty or retirees who 
die from a service-connected injury within 120 days of retiring);
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Dependency and indemnity compensation (monthly payment to 
a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a veteran whose death resulted 
from a service-related injury or disease);
Included in or excluded from income: Included. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Payments to surviving spouses and children for the cost 
of full or part-time training through various sources including 
colleges, universities, vocational schools, and independent study;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Work-study wages paid to surviving spouses and children 
for work they do for VA while attending training;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Montgomery GI Bill death benefit;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Allowances for children of Vietnam or Korean veterans 
born with birth defects;
Included in or excluded from income: Included, except for allowances 
paid under the provisions of 38 U.S.C. 1805 to a child suffering from 
spina bifida who is the child of a Vietnam veteran. 

Veteran income and benefits sources: Veterans with service-oriented 
disabilities: Reimbursement for most medical expenses covered by the 
Civilian Health and Medical Program of VA;
Included in or excluded from income: Excluded. 

Sources: GAO analysis of HUD policies on income exclusions and VA's 
2006 Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Demographic and Housing Characteristics of HUD-Assisted 
Low- Income Veteran Renters: 

Table 13: Number of HUD-Assisted Veteran Renter Households, by State, 
2005: 

State: Alabama; 
Voucher: 1,154; 
Public housing: 1,786; 
Project-based: 1,111; 
Total: 4,051. 

State: Alaska; 
Voucher: 514; 
Public housing: 96; 
Project- based: 171; 
Total: 781. 

State: Arizona; 
Voucher: 1,211; 
Public housing: 376; 
Project-based: 839; 
Total: 2,426. 

State: Arkansas; 
Voucher: 1,453; 
Public housing: 915; 
Project-based: 930; 
Total: 3,298. 

State: California; 
Voucher: 13,563; 
Public housing: 1,674; 
Project- based: 4,820; 
Total: 20,057. 

State: Colorado; 
Voucher: 1,810; 
Public housing: 450; 
Project-based: 1,380; 
Total: 3,640. 

State: Connecticut; 
Voucher: 1,232; 
Public housing: 603; 
Project-based: 1,029; 
Total: 2,864. 

State: Delaware; 
Voucher: 181; 
Public housing: 105; 
Project-based: 269; 
Total: 555. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Voucher: 547; 
Public housing: 315; 
Project-based: 426; 
Total: 1,288. 

State: Florida; 
Voucher: 3,168; 
Public housing: 1,376; 
Project-based: 2,428; 
Total: 6,972. 

State: Georgia; 
Voucher: 1,918; 
Public housing: 1,476; 
Project-based: 1,419; 
Total: 4,813. 

State: Hawaii; 
Voucher: 707; 
Public housing: 275; 
Project-based: 262; 
Total: 1,244. 

State: Idaho; 
Voucher: 537; 
Public housing: 81; 
Project-based: 382; 
Total: 1,000. 

State: Illinois; 
Voucher: 3,426; 
Public housing: 2,211; 
Project-based: 3,225; 
Total: 8,862. 

State: Indiana; 
Voucher: 2,016; 
Public housing: 944; 
Project-based: 1,893; 
Total: 4,853. 

State: Iowa; 
Voucher: 1,529; 
Public housing: 295; 
Project-based: 918; 
Total: 2,742. 

State: Kansas; 
Voucher: 730; 
Public housing: 618; 
Project-based: 824; 
Total: 2,172. 

State: Kentucky; 
Voucher: 1,807; 
Public housing: 1,420; 
Project-based: 1,555; 
Total: 4,782. 

State: Louisiana; 
Voucher: 1,763; 
Public housing: 965; 
Project-based: 1,192; 
Total: 3,920. 

State: Maine; 
Voucher: 965; 
Public housing: 299; 
Project-based: 748; 
Total: 2,012. 

State: Maryland; 
Voucher: 2,082; 
Public housing: 564; 
Project-based: 1,256; 
Total: 3,902. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Voucher: 2,899; 
Public housing: 1,462; 
Project- based: 3,019; 
Total: 7,380. 

State: Michigan; 
Voucher: 2,118; 
Public housing: 1,362; 
Project-based: 3,452; 
Total: 6,932. 

State: Minnesota; 
Voucher: 2,016; 
Public housing: 1,426; 
Project-based: 1,934; 
Total: 5,376. 

State: Mississippi; 
Voucher: 830; 
Public housing: 690; 
Project-based: 1,008; 
Total: 2,528. 

State: Missouri; 
Voucher: 2,317; 
Public housing: 1,177; 
Project-based: 1,952; 
Total: 5,446. 

State: Montana; 
Voucher: 514; 
Public housing: 185; 
Project-based: 527; 
Total: 1,226. 

State: Nebraska; 
Voucher: 461; 
Public housing: 510; 
Project-based: 564; 
Total: 1,535. 

State: Nevada; 
Voucher: 802; 
Public housing: 363; 
Project-based: 424; 
Total: 1,589. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Voucher: 671; 
Public housing: 340; 
Project-based: 525; 
Total: 1,536. 

State: New Jersey; 
Voucher: 2,440; 
Public housing: 1,514; 
Project- based: 2,278; 
Total: 6,232. 

State: New Mexico; 
Voucher: 934; 
Public housing: 277; 
Project-based: 446; 
Total: 1,657. 

State: New York; 
Voucher: 8,348; 
Public housing: 7,329; 
Project-based: 5,341; 
Total: 21,018. 

State: North Carolina; 
Voucher: 3,169; 
Public housing: 1,756; 
Project- based: 1,519; 
Total: 6,444. 

State: North Dakota; 
Voucher: 561; 
Public housing: 137; 
Project-based: 305; 
Total: 1,003. 

State: Ohio; 
Voucher: 5,243; 
Public housing: 2,765; 
Project-based: 4,677; 
Total: 12,685. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Voucher: 1,620; 
Public housing: 1,070; 
Project-based: 1,239; 
Total: 3,929. 

State: Oregon; 
Voucher: 1,964; 
Public housing: 270; 
Project-based: 1,128; 
Total: 3,362. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Voucher: 4,173; 
Public housing: 3,017; 
Project- based: 3,833; 
Total: 11,023. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Voucher: 378; 
Public housing: 589; 
Project-based: 1,211; 
Total: 2,178. 

State: South Carolina; 
Voucher: 1,182; 
Public housing: 677; 
Project- based: 974; 
Total: 2,833. 

State: South Dakota; 
Voucher: 573; 
Public housing: 197; 
Project-based: 544; 
Total: 1,314. 

State: Tennessee; 
Voucher: 1,273; 
Public housing: 1,980; 
Project-based: 2,037; 
Total: 5,290. 

State: Texas; 
Voucher: 5,574; 
Public housing: 2,489; 
Project-based: 2,878; 
Total: 10,941. 

State: Utah; 
Voucher: 728; 
Public housing: 142; 
Project-based: 372; 
Total: 1,242. 

State: Vermont; 
Voucher: 460; 
Public housing: 91; 
Project-based: 278; 
Total: 829. 

State: Virginia; 
Voucher: 2,377; 
Public housing: 925; 
Project-based: 1,505; 
Total: 4,807. 

State: Washington; 
Voucher: 2,531; 
Public housing: 478; 
Project-based: 1,538; 
Total: 4,547. 

State: West Virginia; 
Voucher: 1,119; 
Public housing: 489; 
Project- based: 941; 
Total: 2,549. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Voucher: 1,699; 
Public housing: 799; 
Project-based: 2,322; 
Total: 4,820. 

State: Wyoming; 
Voucher: 200; 
Public housing: 64; 
Project-based: 214; 
Total: 478. 

State: Total; 
Voucher: 101,487; 
Public housing: 51,414; 
Project-based: 76,062; 
Total: 228,963. 

Sources: GAO analysis of VA's Beneficiary Identification and Records 
Location Subsystem and HUD's Public Housing Information Center and 
Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System. 

Note: Totals exclude Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and 
the Virgin Islands. Totals do not reflect 23,157 veteran renter 
households in which state information could not be derived. 

[End of table] 

Table 14: Number of HUD-Assisted, Elderly Veteran Renter Households, by 
State, 2005: 

State: Alabama; Voucher: 91; 
Public housing: 433; 
Project-based: 499; 
Total: 1,023. 

State: Alaska; 
Voucher: 61; 
Public housing: 20; 
Project-based: 57; 
Total: 138. 

State: Arizona; 
Voucher: 174; 
Public housing: 90; 
Project-based: 582; 
Total: 846. 

State: Arkansas; 
Voucher: 132; 
Public housing: 232; 
Project-based: 425; 
Total: 789. 

State: California; 
Voucher: 3,121; 
Public housing: 486; 
Project-based: 3,223; 
Total: 6,830. 

State: Colorado; 
Voucher: 249; 
Public housing: 151; 
Project-based: 747; 
Total: 1,147. 

State: Connecticut; 
Voucher: 174; 
Public housing: 269; 
Project-based: 671; 
Total: 1,114. 

State: Delaware; 
Voucher: 32; 
Public housing: 28; 
Project-based: 148; 
Total: 208. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Voucher: 52; 
Public housing: 110; 
Project- based: 227; 
Total: 389. 

State: Florida; 
Voucher: 462; 
Public housing: 431; 
Project-based: 1,454; 
Total: 2,347. 

State: Georgia; 
Voucher: 172; 
Public housing: 331; 
Project-based: 652; 
Total: 1,155. 

State: Hawaii; 
Voucher: 70; 
Public housing: 58; 
Project-based: 117; 
Total: 245. 

State: Idaho; 
Voucher: 72; 
Public housing: 28; 
Project-based: 194; 
Total: 294. 

State: Illinois; 
Voucher: 417; 
Public housing: 664; 
Project-based: 1,819; 
Total: 2,900. 

State: Indiana; 
Voucher: 215; 
Public housing: 273; 
Project-based: 776; 
Total: 1,264. 

State: Iowa; 
Voucher: 234; 
Public housing: 133; 
Project-based: 525; 
Total: 892. 

State: Kansas; 
Voucher: 97; 
Public housing: 212; 
Project-based: 396; 
Total: 705. 

State: Kentucky; 
Voucher: 190; 
Public housing: 347; 
Project-based: 571; 
Total: 1,108. 

State: Louisiana; 
Voucher: 131; 
Public housing: 190; 
Project-based: 584; 
Total: 905. 

State: Maine; 
Voucher: 146; 
Public housing: 124; 
Project-based: 434; 
Total: 704. 

State: Maryland; 
Voucher: 289; 
Public housing: 186; 
Project-based: 678; 
Total: 1,153. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Voucher: 453; 
Public housing: 636; 
Project-based: 1,790; 
Total: 2,879. 

State: Michigan; 
Voucher: 322; 
Public housing: 522; 
Project-based: 1,785; 
Total: 2,629. 

State: Minnesota; 
Voucher: 278; 
Public housing: 553; 
Project-based: 1,060; 
Total: 1,891. 

State: Mississippi; 
Voucher: 68; 
Public housing: 151; 
Project-based: 404; 
Total: 623. 

State: Missouri; 
Voucher: 230; 
Public housing: 374; 
Project-based: 926; 
Total: 1,530. 

State: Montana; 
Voucher: 76; 
Public housing: 37; 
Project-based: 237; 
Total: 350. 

State: Nebraska; 
Voucher: 62; 
Public housing: 223; 
Project-based: 328; 
Total: 613. 

State: Nevada; 
Voucher: 254; 
Public housing: 187; 
Project-based: 284; 
Total: 725. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Voucher: 185; 
Public housing: 181; 
Project-based: 352; 
Total: 718. 

State: New Jersey; 
Voucher: 328; 
Public housing: 676; 
Project-based: 1,473; 
Total: 2,477. 

State: New Mexico; 
Voucher: 127; 
Public housing: 88; 
Project-based: 209; 
Total: 424. 

State: New York; 
Voucher: 1,375; 
Public housing: 1,963; 
Project-based: 2,885; 
Total: 6,223. 

State: North Carolina; 
Voucher: 326; 
Public housing: 354; 
Project- based: 720; 
Total: 1,400. 

State: North Dakota; 
Voucher: 99; 
Public housing: 48; 
Project-based: 128; 
Total: 275. 

State: Ohio; 
Voucher: 527; 
Public housing: 646; 
Project-based: 2,139; 
Total: 3,312. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Voucher: 165; 
Public housing: 319; 
Project-based: 420; 
Total: 904. 

State: Oregon; 
Voucher: 291; 
Public housing: 68; 
Project-based: 648; 
Total: 1,007. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Voucher: 521; 
Public housing: 1,081; 
Project- based: 2,124; 
Total: 3,726. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Voucher: 64; 
Public housing: 345; 
Project-based: 703; 
Total: 1,112. 

State: South Carolina; 
Voucher: 135; 
Public housing: 157; 
Project- based: 390; 
Total: 682. 

State: South Dakota; 
Voucher: 104; 
Public housing: 113; 
Project-based: 214; 
Total: 431. 

State: Tennessee; 
Voucher: 129; 
Public housing: 477; 
Project-based: 923; 
Total: 1,529. 

State: Texas; 
Voucher: 712; 
Public housing: 773; 
Project-based: 1,352; 
Total: 2,837. 

State: Utah; 
Voucher: 121; 
Public housing: 68; 
Project-based: 211; 
Total: 400. 

State: Vermont; 
Voucher: 106; 
Public housing: 46; 
Project-based: 166; 
Total: 318. 

State: Virginia; 
Voucher: 227; 
Public housing: 186; 
Project-based: 722; 
Total: 1,135. 

State: Washington; 
Voucher: 331; 
Public housing: 91; 
Project-based: 812; 
Total: 1,234. 

State: West Virginia; 
Voucher: 96; 
Public housing: 122; 
Project-based: 363; 
Total: 581. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Voucher: 264; 
Public housing: 321; 
Project-based: 1,214; 
Total: 1,799. 

State: Wyoming; 
Voucher: 50; 
Public housing: 26; 
Project-based: 90; 
Total: 166. 

State: Total; 
Voucher: 14,607; 
Public housing: 15,628; 
Project-based: 39,851; 
Total: 70,086. 

Sources: GAO analysis of VA's Beneficiary Identification and Records 
Location Subsystem and HUD's Public Housing Information Center and 
Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System. 

Note: Totals exclude Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and 
the Virgin Islands. Totals do not reflect 4,611 veteran renter 
households in which state information could not be derived. 

[End of table] 

Table 15: Number of HUD-Assisted, Disabled Veteran Renter Households by 
State, 2005: 

State: Alabama; 
Voucher: 338; 
Public housing: 559; 
Project-based: 383; 
Total: 1,280. 

State: Alaska; 
Voucher: 219; 
Public housing: 29; 
Project-based: 66; 
Total: 314. 

State: Arizona; 
Voucher: 482; 
Public housing: 146; 
Project-based: 232; 
Total: 860. 

State: Arkansas; 
Voucher: 439; 
Public housing: 339; 
Project-based: 283; 
Total: 1,061. 

State: California; 
Voucher: 5,875; 
Public housing: 771; 
Project-based: 1,052; 
Total: 7,698. 

State: Colorado; 
Voucher: 912; 
Public housing: 207; 
Project-based: 540; 
Total: 1,659. 

State: Connecticut; 
Voucher: 430; 
Public housing: 239; 
Project-based: 269; 
Total: 938. 

State: Delaware; 
Voucher: 57; 
Public housing: 47; 
Project-based: 92; 
Total: 196. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Voucher: 110; 
Public housing: 123; 
Project-based: 102; 
Total: 335. 

State: Florida; 
Voucher: 1,029; 
Public housing: 642; 
Project-based: 572; 
Total: 2,243. 

State: Georgia; 
Voucher: 393; 
Public housing: 459; 
Project-based: 396; 
Total: 1,248. 

State: Hawaii; 
Voucher: 254; 
Public housing: 104; 
Project-based: 77; 
Total: 435. 

State: Idaho; 
Voucher: 252; 
Public housing: 47; 
Project-based: 107; 
Total: 406. 

State: Illinois; 
Voucher: 1,122; 
Public housing: 883; 
Project-based: 841; 
Total: 2,846. 

State: Indiana; 
Voucher: 749; 
Public housing: 453; 
Project-based: 750; 
Total: 1,952. 

State: Iowa; 
Voucher: 589; 
Public housing: 104; 
Project-based: 259; 
Total: 952. 

State: Kansas; 
Voucher: 328; 
Public housing: 271; 
Project-based: 263; 
Total: 862. 

State: Kentucky; 
Voucher: 694; 
Public housing: 558; 
Project-based: 532; 
Total: 1,784. 

State: Louisiana; 
Voucher: 416; 
Public housing: 248; 
Project-based: 340; 
Total: 1,004. 

State: Maine; 
Voucher: 535; 
Public housing: 103; 
Project-based: 236; 
Total: 874. 

State: Maryland; 
Voucher: 768; 
Public housing: 248; 
Project-based: 368; 
Total: 1,384. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Voucher: 1,463; 
Public housing: 744; 
Project- based: 813; 
Total: 3,020. 

State: Michigan; 
Voucher: 762; 
Public housing: 612; 
Project-based: 1,106; 
Total: 2,480. 

State: Minnesota; 
Voucher: 817; 
Public housing: 610; 
Project-based: 555; 
Total: 1,982. 

State: Mississippi; 
Voucher: 203; 
Public housing: 203; 
Project-based: 287; 
Total: 693. 

State: Missouri; 
Voucher: 793; 
Public housing: 516; 
Project-based: 648; 
Total: 1,957. 

State: Montana; 
Voucher: 230; 
Public housing: 83; 
Project-based: 185; 
Total: 498. 

State: Nebraska; 
Voucher: 137; 
Public housing: 197; 
Project-based: 154; 
Total: 488. 

State: Nevada; 
Voucher: 391; 
Public housing: 163; 
Project-based: 110; 
Total: 664. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Voucher: 338; 
Public housing: 125; 
Project-based: 164; 
Total: 627. 

State: New Jersey; 
Voucher: 873; 
Public housing: 501; 
Project-based: 516; 
Total: 1,890. 

State: New Mexico; 
Voucher: 349; 
Public housing: 121; 
Project-based: 155; 
Total: 625. 

State: New York; 
Voucher: 3,258; 
Public housing: 2,010; 
Project-based: 1,317; 
Total: 6,585. 

State: North Carolina; 
Voucher: 1,029; 
Public housing: 608; 
Project- based: 430; 
Total: 2,067. 

State: North Dakota; 
Voucher: 184; 
Public housing: 66; 
Project-based: 89; 
Total: 339. 

State: Ohio; 
Voucher: 2,184; 
Public housing: 1,260; 
Project-based: 1,670; 
Total: 5,114. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Voucher: 454; 
Public housing: 489; 
Project-based: 414; 
Total: 1,357. 

State: Oregon; 
Voucher: 782; 
Public housing: 98; 
Project-based: 380; 
Total: 1,260. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Voucher: 1,487; 
Public housing: 1,213; 
Project- based: 1,071; 
Total: 3,771. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Voucher: 179; 
Public housing: 221; 
Project-based: 473; 
Total: 873. 

State: South Carolina; 
Voucher: 343; 
Public housing: 241; 
Project- based: 219; 
Total: 803. 

State: South Dakota; 
Voucher: 210; 
Public housing: 83; 
Project-based: 177; 
Total: 470. 

State: Tennessee; 
Voucher: 497; 
Public housing: 879; 
Project-based: 687; 
Total: 2,063. 

State: Texas; 
Voucher: 1,693; 
Public housing: 849; 
Project-based: 829; 
Total: 3,371. 

State: Utah; 
Voucher: 345; 
Public housing: 49; 
Project-based: 89; 
Total: 483. 

State: Vermont; 
Voucher: 242; 
Public housing: 35; 
Project-based: 75; 
Total: 352. 

State: Virginia; 
Voucher: 725; 
Public housing: 285; 
Project-based: 381; 
Total: 1,391. 

State: Washington; 
Voucher: 1,150; 
Public housing: 212; 
Project-based: 587; 
Total: 1,949. 

State: West Virginia; 
Voucher: 356; 
Public housing: 180; 
Project-based: 383; 
Total: 919. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Voucher: 659; 
Public housing: 382; 
Project-based: 882; 
Total: 1,923. 

State: Wyoming; 
Voucher: 108; 
Public housing: 26; 
Project-based: 61; 
Total: 195. 

State: Total; 
Voucher: 38,232; 
Public housing: 19,641; 
Project-based: 22,667; 
Total: 80,540. 

Sources: GAO analysis of VA's Beneficiary Identification and Records 
Location Subsystem and HUD's Public Housing Information Center and 
Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System. 

Note: Totals exclude Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and 
the Virgin Islands. Totals do not reflect 6,769 veteran renter 
households in which state information could not be derived. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: Comments from the Department of Housing and Urban 
Development: 

U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development: 
Washington, DC 20410-5000:
 
Office Of Public And Indian Housing:

July 31, 2007:

Memorandum For: David G. W. Director, Financial markets and Community 
Investment:

From: Milan Ozdinec, Deputy Assis ant Secretary for Public Housing and 
Voucher Programs:

Subject: GAO Review – Draft Report (GAO Review of Rental Housing 
Information on Low Income Veterans Housing Conditions and Participation 
in HUD's Programs) (GAO # 250280): 

As requested in your July 14, 2007, email, our comments regarding the 
subject document are recorded below: Page 1 of the GAO Audit Review – 
Draft Report (GAO-07-1012) titled "What GAO Found", states in paragraph 
two that HUD policies for its three major rental assistance programs 
generally do not take veterans status into account when determining 
eligibility or assistance levels. Also, paragraph two states that the 
majority of the forty-one largest public housing agencies that 
administer the voucher or public housing programs have no veteran's 
preferences for admission and the thirteen largest performance-based 
contract administrators that oversee most properties under project-
based programs reported that owners generally did not adopt veteran's 
preference. Paragraph three goes on to say that in fiscal year 2005, an 
estimated eleven percent of all eligible low-income veteran households 
(about 250,000) received assistance. 

HUD objects to the characterization that policies for its three major 
rental assistance programs generally do not take veterans status into 
account when determining eligibility or assistance levels. The use of 
the federal selection preferences were temporarily suspended in FY 1996 
and then permanently repealed with the enactment of the Quality Housing 
and Work Responsibility Act. Therefore, HUD cannot mandate that a PHA 
establish any particular type of preference for their Housing Choice 
Voucher (HCV) Program, however, veterans who' meet income and other 
eligibility requirements can receive assistance. PHAs, in their Housing 
Choice Voucher Administrative Plan, may choose to establish a 
preference for veterans and only in this instance is a PHA required to 
document veteran status information. Since most PHAs do not have a 
preference category for veterans, it is difficult to accurately discern 
the number of veterans assisted under the HCV program. HCV program 
participants may have veteran status but entered the program under a 
different preference category (for example, an elderly or disabled 
preference) or under no preference category at all. The report does 
acknowledge on page 12 that, of the households with veterans, a 
significant proportion reported that the veteran was elderly or 
disabled which are two of the commonly used preferences chosen by most 
PHAs. 

Also, we note there is a lack of complete information on all veterans 
from data obtained through the Veterans Administration (VA), (see Page 
41 of the Draft Report). For example, social security numbers, which 
were used to match VA and HUD data, may not have been available for all 
veterans who served in the 1970's or earlier. Again, this would 
ultimately affect the estimated count of 250,000 veterans who received 
assistance through HUD programs in 2005. 

Paragraph two of Page 1 of the report states that HUD generally does 
not distinguish between income that is specific to veterans, such as 
veterans-provided benefits and other sources of income. Under HUD 
regulations at 5.609, VA benefits are considered income to the person. 
However, HUD does exclude many types of benefits that may assist 
veterans, such as payments for training and education and health care 
services. These exclusions would in fact benefit the veteran by 
lowering his/her annual income, which in turn, would lower the total 
tenant payment amount required by HUD. In addition to the above 
mentioned exclusions, HUD regulations at 24 CFR 5.609 also allows for 
the exclusion of special pay to a family member serving in the Armed 
Forces who is exposed to hostile fire. 

The Report's scope and methodology gives detailed information as to 
where and how the data for this report was gathered. Pill's PIC 
database system was matched against data from VA of all living 
veterans. Specifically, social security numbers, first and last names, 
and date of birth of the assisted households in PIC were matched 
against corresponding information of veterans in VA's Beneficiary 
Identification and Records Location Subsystem. It is unclear from this 
report whether the methodology included entering the field office 
location and housing authority for the veterans in the VA database. 
Without that preliminary information, the search in the PIC database 
will yield few results. 

If you have any questions regarding this draft report and would like to 
discuss further, please contact Victoria Alston of the Housing Voucher 
Management and Operations Division at 202-402-4889.

[End of section] 

Appendix VII: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

David G. Wood, (202) 512-8678, or woodd@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, Daniel Garcia-Diaz, 
Assistant Director; Carl Barden; Michelle Bowsky; Mark H. Egger; 
Cynthia Grant; John T. McGrail; Marc Molino; Josephine Perez; Carl 
Ramirez; Barbara Roesmann; and Rose M. Schuville made key contributions 
to this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] We use the Bureau of the Census's definition of a veteran: 
generally, a person who is 18 years of age or older and has served on 
active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast 
Guard in the past, but is no longer on active duty. Persons who have 
served in the National Guard or Military Reserves are classified as 
veterans only if they have been called or ordered to active duty. 

[2] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Affordable 
Housing Needs 2005: Report to Congress" (Washington, D.C.: May 2007). 
HUD defines rent to be affordable if it is less than or equal to 30 
percent of a household's monthly gross income. Inadequate housing can 
include units that have electrical or plumbing problems or lack 
complete kitchen or bathroom facilities. By definition, households that 
receive rental assistance do not have "worst-case" housing needs. 

[3] HUD is required by law to set locality-specific income limits that 
are used to determine eligibility of applicants for HUD's assisted 
housing programs. HUD develops income limits by categories (for 
example, 80, 50, and 30 percent of AMI) for each metropolitan area and 
nonmetropolitan county, adjusted for family size, and for areas that 
have unusually high or low income-to-housing-cost relationships. 

[4] We contacted or visited 41 different PHAs. Of these, 33 PHAs 
administered both the public housing and voucher programs, 7 
administered the voucher program only, and 1 administered the public 
housing program only. 

[5] In this report, we consider a veteran renter household to be 
elderly if at least one veteran member was 62 years or older. A veteran 
renter household with a disability contains at least one veteran member 
with a disability as defined by Census. 

[6] See GAO, Homeless Veterans Programs: Improved Communications and 
Follow-up Could Further Enhance the Grant and Per Diem Program, GAO-06-
859 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 11, 2006). 

[7] U.S.C. Title 38, Part II General Benefits, and Part III 
Readjustment and Related Benefits. 

[8] A tenant's rent is based on a family's anticipated gross annual 
income--that is, income from all sources received by the family head, 
spouse, and each additional family member who is 18 years of age or 
older, less applicable exclusions and deductions. There are 44 
different types of income exclusions and deductions. 

[9] HUD's project-based rental assistance programs include project- 
based Section 8, Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) under the 
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and the Section 811 
Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs, Rental 
Assistance Program (RAP), and Rent Supplement. 

[10] The Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program is an exception 
because it is administered by PHAs rather than property owners or 
managers. 

[11] Census defines disability as a long-lasting sensory, physical, 
mental, or emotional condition that can make it difficult for a person 
to perform activities such as walking, climbing stairs, dressing, 
bathing, learning, or remembering. The condition can impede a person 
from being able to go outside the home alone or to work at a job or 
business. The definition includes persons with severe vision or hearing 
impairments. 

[12] Estimates derived from the ACS, like all survey data, contain 
sampling errors (that is, such estimates would be different if the 
survey had selected another sample). Since each sample could have 
provided different estimates, we express our confidence in the 
precision of this sample's results as 90 percent confidence intervals. 
In this report, we express this type of error as a margin of error, 
which is the difference between an estimate and its upper or lower 
confidence interval, and we express the margin of error as a 
percentage. The margins of error were larger for Vermont, Delaware, and 
Wyoming (exceeding plus or minus 20 percent) than those for the other 
states because of the relatively small sample size used to derive the 
estimates (see app. II for margins of error for each state and the 
District of Columbia). 

[13] HUD classifies a housing affordability problem as "moderate" if 
housing costs are between 30.1 percent and 50 percent of household 
income and "severe" if housing costs are more than 50 percent. 

[14] HUD's regulation defines housing overcrowding as a housing unit 
with 1.01 or more persons per room (see 24 C.F.R. 791.402) but does not 
provide a definition for severe overcrowding. The measure of severe 
overcrowding to which we refer in this report (1.51 or more persons per 
room) is commonly used for statistical reporting purposes. 

[15] According to ACS, a housing unit has complete plumbing if it has 
(1) hot and cold piped water, (2) a flush toilet, and (3) a bathtub or 
shower and complete kitchen facilities if it has (1) a sink with piped 
water, (2) a stove or range, and (3) a refrigerator. 

[16] 24 C.F.R. 5.609. 

[17] In addition to these 39 income exclusions, program administrators 
must also apply five income deductions to determine the household's 
adjusted income--that is, the amount of income used to calculate the 
household's rental contribution, which include standard amounts for 
each dependent and for elderly family members and those with 
disabilities. See 24 C.F.R. 5.611. 

[18] Pub. L. Nos. 101-201 and 104-204. 

[19] The veteran also must meet HUD's eligibility requirements for the 
housing choice voucher program. 

[20] HUD Notices of Funding Availability for the Section 8 Set-Aside 
for Homeless Veterans with Severe Psychiatric or Substance Abuse 
Disorders, Fiscal Years 1992, 1993, and 1994. 

[21] According to the VA, veterans receiving HUD-VASH vouchers may 
leave the program because, for example, they no longer need or qualify 
for assistance. 

[22] Pub. L. No. 107-95. 

[23] The House and Senate bills for HUD's fiscal year 2008 
appropriations (H.R. 3074 and S. 1789) appropriate monies for 
additional HUD-VASH vouchers. 

[24] Qualifying conditions under this preference included displacements 
caused by disaster, government action, hate crime, and domestic abuse, 
and to avoid reprisals. 

[25] According to HUD, a unit is substandard if it is dilapidated; does 
not have operable indoor plumbing; does not have a usable flush toilet 
inside the unit for exclusive use of the family; does not have 
electricity, or has inadequate or unsafe electrical service; does not 
have a safe or adequate source of heat; should, but does not, have a 
kitchen; or has been declared unfit for habitation by an agency or unit 
of government. In addition, if an applicant is a homeless family, that 
family is considered to be living in substandard housing. 

[26] The use of the federal preference requirement was temporarily 
suspended by the continuing resolution enacted in January 1996 through 
the appropriations act for fiscal year 1998. 

[27] Specifically, QHWRA required that not less than 75 percent of new 
program participants under the voucher program and not less than 40 
percent under the public housing and project-based Section 8 programs 
be extremely low income. 

[28] A PHA's administrative plan is a comprehensive guide to the 
agency's policies, programs, operations, and strategies for meeting 
local housing needs and goals. There are two parts to the plan: (1) the 
5-Year Plan, which each PHA submits to HUD once every fifth PHA fiscal 
year and (2) the Annual Plan, which is submitted to HUD every year. 

[29] A tenant selection plan is a comprehensive guide that describes 
the owners' tenant selection policies and procedures. These plans 
include descriptions of the eligibility requirements and income limits 
for admission. 

[30] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy 
Development and Research, "The Use of Discretionary Authority in the 
Tenant-Based Section 8 Program" (Washington, D.C.: 2000). 

[31] During the 109th Congress, this legislation was introduced in both 
the Senate and the House of Representatives (S. 3475 and H.R. 5561). On 
April 10, 2007, the legislation was reintroduced in the Senate (S. 
1084). 

[32] National Low Income Housing Coalition, A Look at Waiting Lists: 
What Can We Learn from the HUD Approved Annual Plans?, NLIHC Research 
Note 04-03 (Washington, D.C.: 2004). 

[33] According to HUD policy, a preference for households that are 
involuntarily displaced by government action or natural disaster 
generally applies to properties that have a HUD-insured mortgage. 

[34] Since a significant portion of HUD-assisted households have very 
low-and extremely low-incomes, we also estimated the share of veteran 
renter households in these two income categories and found that about 
19 percent of them received HUD assistance (compared with about 27 
percent of other households). 

[35] HUD is required by law to set locality-specific income limits that 
are used to determine eligibility of applicants for HUD's assisted 
housing programs. HUD develops income limits by categories (for 
example, 80, 50, and 30 percent of AMI) for each metropolitan area and 
nonmetropolitan county, adjusted for family size and for areas that 
have unusually high or low income-to-housing cost relationships. 

[36] In its published estimates derived from ACS, Census reports the 
magnitude of sampling error based on a 90 percent confidence level. 

[37] We contacted or visited 41 different PHAs. Of these, 33 PHAs 
administered both public housing and voucher programs, 7 administered 
voucher programs only, and 1 administered public housing programs only. 

[38] PIC is the automated HUD system that PHAs use to submit 
information to HUD on households receiving voucher and public housing 
rental assistance. TRACS is HUD's automated system for collecting and 
maintaining rental assistance data from property owners and contract 
administrators on individuals residing in multifamily housing projects. 
BIRLS is VA's computerized system of veterans and beneficiary records, 
and it contains personal and military service data. 

[39] The two programs--which fund the development of rental housing for 
very low-income households with members who are elderly or have a 
disability--require that project sponsors make supportive services 
available to assisted households. 

[40] These deductions include standard amounts for each dependent 
member of the household or for members who are elderly or have a 
disability. 

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