LEARNING AREA: Real Estate Development

Long Waitlists for Housing Vouchers Show Pressing Unmet Need for Assistance


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities




Across the country, large numbers of families who need help to afford housing sit on long waiting lists for assistance, CBPP analysis of selected state and local housing agency program plans shows.[2] (This analysis supplements an earlier CBPP analysis showing that the families who manage to get off of these waitlists typically have to wait years before receiving a voucher.[3]) Due to insufficient program funding, agencies administering Housing Choice Vouchers, which help households with low incomes rent a modest unit of their choice in the private market, must generally establish waitlists for applicants, many of whom must endure homelessness or overcrowding while they wait. Providing substantial, multi-year funding for new vouchers, as the House Financial Services Committee has proposed, would help more people when they first need it instead of forcing them to accept years of hardship; it should be a high priority in the emerging economic recovery (“Build Back Better”) legislation.