Essay on Housing Vouchers: More Than a Housing Solution

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Housing Vouchers
Vouchers: More Than a Housing Solution
Many advocates and policymakers of housing for the poor believe that to achieve optimal human development of low-income households the location of the housing must be considered as well as the quality of the housing unit (Newman, 2008). According to Newman (2008), housing of the poor has to allow for economic independence and self-care while providing a safe and adequate place to live. The debate about decent housing alone is sufficient to provide a healthier living environment has its roots in the late 1920s, when the unhealthy environment of the slums was associated with numerous social ills. The hands-on approach of the housing and social service agencies was
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For the past fifty years the shift from meeting the housing needs of the poor through government projects-based housing to a more individual approach, has been slowly implemented. Housing vouchers now enable underprivileged populations to move from high-poverty, segregated neighborhoods to more un-segregated, low-poverty neighborhoods. Low-poverty neighborhoods have less crime, better opportunities for employment, and more diverse schooling options. Some housing advocates however, contend that housing assistance is unnecessary and is an income subsidy that should be combined with other social safety nets (Clark, W. 2008).

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The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 enacted a voucher program, the Section 8 Housing Allowance program that has since been renamed the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV). In the original program vouchers were sent directly to qualifying landlords, however, in 1988, the terms were changed so that the tenants now receive the vouchers. Tenants were given more leeway in where and how the vouchers could be used (Teater, 2008).
Teater (2008) explained that the original intent of the Section 8 program was to allow minority households to move to neighborhoods that were less racially segregated and safer. Other intentions of Section 8 program were to open
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