The Benefits and Costs of Residential Mobility Programmes for the Poor
By enabling low-income families to move from high- to low-poverty neigh- bourhoods, tenant-based rental subsidies for poor families have the potential to reduce the degree of economic segregation in the US. This paper provides a framework for identifying the benets and costs of such housing mobility programmes, and reviews the available empirical evidence on the net effects of quasi- or formal randomised housing mobility experiments. The best available evidence suggests that families in public housing who receive rental subsidies to move from high- to lower-poverty areas may experience reductions in welfare receipt and improvements in health status. Such moves may also improve schooling outcomes for children and reduce their problem behaviours. The benefits to society from these changes are substantial when measured in dollar terms. Unfortunately, very little is currently known about the effects of housing-mobility efforts on non-participants.
Michael P. Johnson, Helen F. Ladd, and Jens Ludwig