How allowance recipients adjust housing consumption

by John E. Mulford, George D. Weiner, James L. McDowell

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Examines housing allowance program recipients' consumption response to allowance payments and housing standards. Enrollees in the Housing Assistance Supply Experiment spend large fractions of their incomes to occupy nearly adequate housing, but about half their dwellings contain inexpensive-to-repair health and safety defects. A program of cash allowances that requires meeting certain housing standards induces recipients to remedy their housing defects and increase their housing consumption modestly. Results suggest that housing problems faced by many low-income families could be resolved by assistance that utilized the existing stock of housing rather than new construction, and that depended on client initiative and normal market processes rather than on direct management by public agencies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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