Deconcentration of Low-Income Persons through Section 8 Housing Assistance

CED-78-181: Published: Oct 20, 1978. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 1978.

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Under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 8 Housing Assistance Program, low-income families pay 15 percent to 25 percent of their incomes for rent, and HUD subsidizes the difference between the family's contribution and the rent charged by the landlord. HUD's efforts to avoid, through its Section 8 Housing Assistance Program, undue concentrations of lower-income persons were reviewed. Key HUD housing and community development personnel are not sure whether deconcentration is a prime objective of the section 8 program, and HUD has provided little formal direction in defining deconcentration or in establishing procedures to achieve it. The extent of deconcentration achieved through the section 8 program is not readily determinable because HUD has not developed the criteria needed to measure this factor. In order to minimize the deconcentration of lower income persons through the section 8 program, the Secretary of HUD should: (1) clearly define the deconcentration objective and its relationship to the Section 8 Program; (2) issue guidelines to assist field offices in achieving the stated objective; and (3) develop a system for measuring the results of deconcentration efforts, including appropriate measurement criteria, goals, and data-collection mechanisms.

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