Full Version: Cost-Effectiveness of Different Types of Housing Programs in Different Market Conditions
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For decades, a widespread and influential belief in housing policy debates has been that subsidized construction programs are more cost-effective than tenant-based housing vouchers for providing housing to low-income households in housing markets with the lowest vacancy rates. No systematic evidence supports this belief. A careful empirical study of the relationship between cost-effectiveness and market conditions is long overdue. This could be based on data for a random sample of voucher recipients and occupants of tax credit projects in randomly selected locations with unusually high and low vacancy rates. A credible cost-effectiveness analysis requires detailed information about the characteristics of the dwelling units and their neighborhoods and a meticulous collection of data on all of the subsidies associated with subsidized housing projects. HUD’s Customer Satisfaction Survey indicates that information on the characteristics of the unit and its neighborhood can be obtained at low cost from recipients.