Universal Housing Vouchers: A Promise or a Pipe Dream?

By Shelby R. King: For Complete Post, click here…

President Biden promised to expand the Housing Choice Voucher program so that everyone who qualifies for a voucher gets one. What exactly would that change entail, and how long could it be before we see it happen?

Once again, the clock is ticking as states scramble to distribute billions in federal emergency rent relief to stress-weary, increasingly panicked tenants and landlords before the national eviction moratorium expires. If the money doesn’t get out in time, a rush of evictions and foreclosures could be in store this fall.

Would the nation be in such a precarious predicament if everyone who qualified for a housing voucher got one?

Over the last year and a half, tenants who receive income-dependent rental assistance—like housing vouchers—had their rent responsibility reduced when their incomes fell, and their landlords were still paid. But housing vouchers’ eviction-preventing effects were limited to households lucky enough to get a voucher, since the underfunded Housing Choice Voucher program reaches just one in five households that qualify.

There are more than 8 million families that qualify for a voucher but can’t get one.

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