Waiting Lists Underestimate Demand for Housing Assistance
A report recently released by the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) titled Housing Agency Waiting Lists and the Demand for Housing Assistance estimates there are approximately 1.6 million families on public housing waiting lists and more than 2.8 million families on Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waiting lists.
The report is based on a 2012 national survey of waiting lists. The survey found that 48.4 percent of HCV waiting lists and 6.5 percent of public housing waiting lists were closed to new applicants and that 65 percent of closed HCV and 39 percent of closed public housing waiting lists had been closed for more than a year. PAHRC estimates that if these lists had remained open, there would be three times as many families on HCV waiting lists and almost 6 percent more families on waiting lists for public housing. This translates to a potential 9.5 million families waiting for HCVs and 2 million families waiting for public housing units.