HUD-Assisted Renters

RCED-95-167R: Published: May 18, 1995. Publicly Released: May 18, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) rental assistance programs, focusing on the potential for assisted households to move toward or achieve economic self-sufficiency. GAO noted that based on samples of 1989 data: (1) HUD-assisted renters' median age was 50 years, with 29 percent 34 years or younger, 36 percent between the ages of 35 and 64, and 35 percent 65 years or older; (2) the elderly and the disabled, who constituted about 49 percent of HUD-assisted households, had limited potential for achieving self-sufficiency; (3) 45 percent of assisted households had children, with 12 percent having three or more children; (4) about 55 percent of the households were headed by single parents; (5) single parents needed child care and other services in order to participate in training or employment programs; (6) about 36 percent of the heads of assisted households had graduated from high school, another 18 percent had 1 or more years of college, and 21 percent had fewer than 8 years of schooling; (7) at least 45 percent of HUD-assisted renters needed additional education or training to become self-sufficient; (8) the renters' median income was $7,320; (9) about 7 percent of the renters had incomes of $20,000 or more; (10) only 40 percent of the households reported income from wages or salaries; and (11) a 3-member family renting a 2-bedroom apartment would need an annual income ranging from $18,396 to $36,264 to become economically independent of the housing program.

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