Cover: Welfare Reform and Housing Assistance

Welfare Reform and Housing Assistance

Published 1979

by Rodney T. Smith


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Analyzes two proposed welfare reforms that can potentially affect participants in housing assistance programs: integration of food stamp and existing cash assistance programs, and integration of housing assistance and cash assistance programs. Important questions are: will either reform reduce housing consumption by welfare households, discourage them from participating in housing programs, or reduce their real incomes? The author offers estimates of (1) how cash assistance, food stamps, and housing assistance influence recipients' consumption of food and housing and affect their real incomes; and (2) how much additional cash income a participant is willing to forgo before leaving the housing program. Conclusions are: Neither reform will seriously reduce housing consumption by welfare households or lessen incentives to participate in housing programs. Both reforms will reduce real income of housing assistance recipients, the second probably more than the first. Housing consumption will be essentially unaffected under both reforms, and neither will cause welfare households to withdraw from housing programs.

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