Since 1980, the focus of American housing policy has shifted away from project-based to tenant-based subsidies, i.e. the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP). Yet many HCVP recipients have remained in high-poverty and high-minority areas of central cities. To improve the effectiveness of HCVP in expanding residential choices, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is encouraging local public housing authorities to utilize a variety of techniques to provide more opportunity for voucher recipients to move to low poverty areas including meetings with current or prospective owners, owners’ newsletters, owner fairs, program videos and direct contact with owners. Although there has been a considerable body of research on voucher recipients in the Gautreaux and Moving to Opportunity programs, two special housing voucher programs, there has been little research on the effectiveness of landlord outreach efforts as part of the regular HCVP. We therefore conducted a case study of landlord outreach efforts currently being implemented by the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority. We combined observation of landlord outreach events with semi-structured interviews to determine reasons why landlords do or do not participate, landlords’ perceptions on the extent to which HCVP addresses their concerns, what they take away from these events, and how outreach efforts might be improved. This case study indicates that there is considerable room for improvement in landlord outreach efforts by the housing authority. The policy implications for HUD as well as public housing authorities across the United States are discussed.
- housing vouchers
- poverty deconcentration