Rental Housing:

Serving the Elderly Through the Section 8 Program

RCED-93-12FS: Published: Mar 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1993.

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GAO provided information on the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 8 housing programs, which are administered by public housing agencies (PHA), focusing on: (1) demographic characteristics of program beneficiaries; (2) the quality of housing rented by elderly voucher recipients; and (3) proportion of income beneficiaries paid for rent.

GAO found that: (1) the majority of elderly and nonelderly heads of households who received vouchers or certificates from large urban PHA were women and nondisabled; (2) elderly households were more likely to be headed by white recipients, nonelderly households were equally likely to be headed by black or white recipients, and the majority of both elderly and nonelderly recipients had received less than or equal to a 12th grade education; (3) the average adjusted annual income for elderly and nonelderly voucher and certificate recipients varied between $5,600 and $6,000; (4) the majority of section 8 households in 4 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) tended to be headed by women, the majority of whom were nondisabled; (5) nonelderly households were more likely to be headed by black recipients; (6) mean adjusted incomes varied between $6,600 and $7,400 for elderly and nonelderly certificate and voucher recipients; (7) the majority of the recipients were satisfied with the quality and size of the units they rented, their neighborhoods, and their access to services; (8) the majority of recipients believed that affordable better housing would be difficult to find; (9) the average annual rent burden for PHA voucher recipients was about 29 percent of adjusted income for elderly households and 34 percent for nonelderly households; and (6) voucher and certificate recipients in MSA had average annual rent burdens of 30 percent of their adjusted income for elderly households and 35 percent for nonelderly households.

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