Recent proposals, including the President’s FY 2018 proposed budget and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s A Better Way plan, propose deep cuts and possible reforms to housing assistance. Currently, only one in five eligible renter households receives federal assistance. Any reductions to funding and the proposed reforms threaten the well-being of millions of households. This report provides an overview of the current landscape of housing assistance, its central role in the safety net, the evidence on contemporary policy proposals, and identifies critical gaps in our knowledge that suggest the need for more investigation prior to policy changes.
This report was updated on January 4, 2018. The title of figure 3 was corrected; the figure does not show housing assistance recipients who have access to work support services.
This report was updated again on October 4, 2018. Figure 3 and text referencing it on page 8 were amended to show the correct number of low-income households with housing needs. When originally published, the figure mistakenly listed the total number of renters with housing needs.