Housing Vouchers, Tenant Quality, and Apartment Values
Landlords face unique concerns in maximizing profits when they accept subsidized as well as unsubsidized tenants. Subsidized tenants come with lower rental collection risk because part or all of the rent is paid by a public agency and accepting subsidized tenants may widen the potential tenant market. But subsidized tenants tend to reduce overall tenant quality and to impose higher operating costs. By accepting subsidies, landlords may also subject themselves to periodic site inspections that may increase capital costs. Further, subsidized tenants may eventually crowd out unsubsidized tenants, lowering the average quality of the resident mix. Tests front Washington, DC apartments on accepting and advertising for Section 8 tenants support these qualitative predictions. Accepting Section 8 tenants enhances revenues, but advertising for them lowers revenues. More aggressive solicitation of subsidized tenants leads to a crowding out or displacement risk that dominates over any diminished collection risk. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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