Housing Discrimination : Improve Housing Quality For The Poor By Outlawing Source Of Income Discrimination

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Housing Discrimination: Improve Housing Quality for the Poor by Outlawing Source of Income Discrimination
Thomas Brown
University of Houston

The United States Census Bureau reports that, in 2015, 13.5% of Americans lived below the poverty line (Proctor, Semega, & Kollar, 2016). The negative effects of poverty are well documented and can have a widespread effect on the lives of those individuals who are affected. They are more likely to experience income and food insecurity, chronic health conditions, and lower quality education than wealthier Americans (United States Government Accountability Office, 2007). Additionally, and more importantly to the purposes of this report, the poor are more likely to experience homelessness or live in inadequate housing. The National Alliance to End Homelessness (2016) estimates that over 500 thousand people were homeless on any given night in 2015. The federal government, recognizing this issue exists, has responded by allocating “50 billion in housing assistance specifically designated for low-income households” (CBO, p.1) in 2014, which was used to assist nearly five million households through various programs (CBPP, p.1). The housing voucher program, which accounted for the largest percentage, provides families with subsidized housing, while allowing them to choose where they live, provided the housing meets certain health and safety thresholds set by local public housing agencies (HUD, Housing Choice). Despite access to

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