Housing Strategies to Strengthen Welfare Policy and Support Working Families

Barbara Sard and Margy Waller
Margy Waller Visiting Fellow, Economic Studies and Metropolitan Policy, The Brookings Institution

April 1, 2002

The affordable housing gap has adverse consequences for low-income families trying to work. A growing body of research suggests that providing housing assistance to low-income families and enabling families to live closer to employment opportunities may help welfare recipients get and keep jobs. The reauthorization of welfare this year, and the consideration of major housing bills, provide opportunities to implement changes that would support these welfare policy goals. This brief offers a policy agenda to reduce the affordable housing gap, encourage location decisions that are more accessible to jobs, and support replication of housing strategies that appear to increase the likelihood of a successful transition from welfare to work.