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The Chicago Housing Authority’s controversial proposal to limit the amount of time voucher holders can receive housing subsidies is expected to be rolled out later this year.
According to the CHA’s review of families who took part in the Family Self Sufficiency Program in 2013, 67 percent of the graduates had higher average income than those that did not take part in the program. Their average income increased by $16,495.
But opponents argue that training alone is insufficient.
“This policy is based on the idea that the problem is really with these individual households,” Daniel Hertz, senior policy analyst at the nonprofit research and advocacy think tank, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said.
This misdiagnoses the problem. It is not that voucher holders are unwilling to work, it is that they cannot get jobs with sufficient wages to rent at market rates, Hertz said.
“It’s not really about people having a temporary period of time in their life where they are struggling and they need help and they can lift themselves out and get back into the market. There’s also a structural imbalance that’s not going away,” Hertz said.