Public housing and the housing voucher program play a crucial role in providing affordable housing and driving community revitalization. Home to millions of working families, seniors, and people with disabilities, these programs occupy a unique place on the affordable housing spectrum.
Innovative partnerships led by housing authorities have built thousands of new and renovated units of affordable housing, brought in billions of dollars in private investment, and sparked community revitalization across the country. As a result, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has praised housing authorities as the most entrepreneurial and creative affordable housing developers in the country. The mixed finance approaches they have pioneered are now standard practice for virtually all affordable housing development.
In addition, housing authorities’ successful track record in creating jobs, and stimulating local economies, resulted in their being awarded $4 billion in the 2009 Recovery Act, essentially doubling their most recent annual appropriation.
But the scope of their work goes well beyond cutting-edge development. They are also playing a leading role in addressing broader problems: helping to close the educational achievement gap for low-income students; making sure seniors on fixed incomes can age in place; taking homes and whole communities green; helping families become self-sufficient.