Housing assistance for low-income families

There is a shortage of affordable housing for low-income families in the United States. Based on analyzing 2010 data, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) concludes that one full-time minimum wage cannot afford a fair price for renting a one bedroom apartment anywhere in the nation . Subsidized housing programs sponsored by the government intended to close the gap affordability.


The Department of Housing and Urban Development United States (HUD) for its acronym in English establishes income limits each year to inform eligibility guidelines for programs of social housing. At the bottom of the income scale are households with incomes below 30% of median income in your area. HUD these families classified as “extremely low”. According NLIHC, there was 9.2 million tenants in very low-income households in the country, from the American Community Survey 2008, but can only afford 6.1 million rental units in homes nationwide.


Programs for low-income housing strive to increase the supply of affordable housing for needy families in the country. As NLIHC notes in consensus among housing experts is that if a family spends more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities, housing costs are not affordable. More subsidized housing plans are structured to ensure that participants in most cases do not exceed the 30% threshold. To lower housing costs, NLIHC argues that many low-income families settle for substandard housing and overcrowding.


Virtually any program for low-income housing uses some form of subsidy. The two largest programs come from HUD. Or Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program subsidizes private market segment in a low-income family in which the rent is greater than 30-40% of their income. The program consists in HUD public housing units owned and operated by local public housing agencies with affordable rents levels. Some cities run their own programs plus Section 8 and public housing. Many of the cities of San Francisco Bay Area, for example, use some kind of continuation of the program of market price. In Palo Alto, California, for example, Palo Alto Housing Corporation nonprofit (PAHC) administers the market rate below the city. Generally, households cannot be applied to live in one of the properties contained in the program if they earn more than 80% of median income of Palo Alto, according to PAHC website.


Some programs contain a component of home ownership; however, the magnitude of these initiatives pales in comparison to the efforts to tenants. PAHC, for example, run “Below market rate purchase program” Palo Alto offering properties below market prices. The city of Palo Alto requires developers to make at least 15% of the units in buildings with five units or more below market sales opportunities. Other cities, including New York and San Francisco, running similar programs intended primarily for tenants.

Income Limits

Most income housing programs of social interest income used as the primary eligibility. Most postponed until the HUD income limits, which change every year and vary depending on location and household size. As mentioned efforts of Palo Alto, the program allows HUD public housing tenants below 80% of the average in your area. The Section 8 program limits the income to 50% of the average of the area; however, housing authorities must distribute 75% of their Section 8 vouchers to families below 30% of the average in your area.

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