Housing Assistance for Low-Income Urban Families: A Fresh Approach.

by Ira S. Lowry

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A proposal for a general program of housing assistance for low-income families in central urban areas. Neither new housing nor major rehabilitation is appropriate or economical for the needs of these families. Instead, this proposal responds to the most critical problem: too little effective demand for adequate maintenance of existing older buildings. The plan is designed to provide (1) modest improvements to existing housing; (2) equal assistance for all eligible families based on a sliding percent-of-income formula; (3) rent certificates--a new device to assist low-income families to find their own housing, dealing directly with the landlord; (4) a continuous check on housing quality. The plan prohibits the use of public funds for subsidy of substandard units and creates incentives for both landlords and tenants to cooperate in housing maintenance and improvement. 57 pp.

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