Do Increases in Subsidized Housing Reduce the Incidence of Homelessness? Evidence from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Do Increases in Subsidized Housing Reduce the Incidence of Homelessness? Evidence from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

By Osborne Jackson and Laura Kawano

The provision of affordable housing for low-income families is often cited by policymakers and advocacy groups as a necessity for ending homelessness. The U.S. government spends a considerable amount on housing programs for the nation's poor, and the use of federal housing programs to mitigate homelessness has attracted increasing interest following the recent financial downturn and housing market crisis. While important for housing policy, however, the question of whether subsidized housing is effective for combating homelessness remains unresolved. In this paper, the authors examine the impact of subsidized housing on homelessness using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the largest place-based housing program in the United States.

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