December 2, 2004
Fannie Mae Foundation

A key aspect of the continuing housing policy debate is how best to spend limited resources to aid the poor. Recently, the policy has focused on whether it is more effective to intervene on the supply side via provision of a voucher or rental certificate that enables a low-income household to secure decent housing in the private market. This paper argues that preserving and maintaining the affordability of the remaining stock of unsubsidized low-cost housing will require a skillful balancing of supply- and demand-side interventions. Exclusive reliance on vouchers will not do the job, especially since large segments of the poor do not receive any form of housing assistance. Flexible programs to expand the purchasing power of poverty-level households must be developed...

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