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The Effect on Program Participation of Replacing Current Low-Income Housing Programs with an Entitlement Housing Voucher Program


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  • Edgar O. Olsen


  • Jeffrey M. Tebbs



This paper estimates the effect on participation rates of families of various types of replacing HUD’s largest low-income housing programs with alternative tenure-neutral entitlement housing voucher programs that differ in their taxpayer cost and the relative generosity of the subsidy to households of different types. The estimates of participation in the entitlement programs are based primarily on the five-percent household sample from the 2000 Decennial Census and participation experience in the only entitlement housing assistance programs that have been operated in the United States. HUD’s administrative records provide data on current recipients of low-income housing assistance. The paper explores the sensitivity of the results to the equations used to predict participation. The results indicate that even the entitlement housing voucher program that costs 10 percent less than the current system would serve 50 percent more households in total and many more of each type – white, black, and Hispanic; elderly and nonelderly; families living in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas; small, medium, and large families; and households in the first two real income deciles.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Virginia, Department of Economics in its series Virginia Economics Online Papers with number 378.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:378

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Keywords: Low-income housing assistance; housing vouchers; welfare reform two-sided markets; junk mail; email; telemarketing; Do Not Call List; message pricing; the Medium is the Message; market research. Classification-H53; I38; R00;

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  1. Edgar O. Olsen, 2003. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 365-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edgar O. Olsen & Dirk W. Early & Paul E. Carrillo, 2010. "A Panel of Price Indices for Housing, Other Goods, and All Goods for All Areas in the United States 1982-2008," Virginia Economics Online Papers, University of Virginia, Department of Economics 377, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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