Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Rents of Constant Quality Units in the Housing Choice Voucher Program: Evidence from HUD’s Customer Satisfaction Survey - Assisted Housing Research Cadre Reports
Serving more than 2.2 million households and over 5 million persons at a cost of roughly $16 billion, the Housing Choice Voucher program is one of the most important forms of rental assistance provided by the federal government. A substantial fraction, 62 percent, of the households served by the Housing Choice Voucher program are minority households. The focus of this study is to determine whether discrimination in rental housing markets put minorities in the Housing Choice Voucher program at a disadvantage when searching for private housing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s mission statement includes the goal of increasing access to affordable housing free from discrimination. For the Housing Choice Voucher program to expand access to decent, affordable rental housing, it must provide tenants the resources necessary to obtain housing in appropriate areas of their choice, including areas with low concentrations of poverty and in historically white neighborhoods while meeting program guidelines. If minorities face additional financial barriers to obtaining housing in the most desirable locations, HUD may need to adjust the policies governing the Housing Choice Voucher program accordingly.