Function 600 - Income Security
Increase the Number of Housing Choice Vouchers
CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.
The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program provides federally funded, portable vouchers that low-income households may use to help pay for housing they choose in the private market. Currently, only about one-quarter of the eligible low-income population receives housing assistance through federal spending programs.
To illustrate the costs associated with extending housing assistance to more of the eligible population, CBO analyzed the budgetary effects of the following options:
- Increasing the number of available vouchers by 10 percent,
- Offering assistance to all households with income of no more than 30 percent of area median income (AMI), or
- Offering assistance to all households with income of no more than 50 percent of AMI.
CBO estimates that a onetime 10 percent increase in the number of vouchers would assist roughly 200,000 additional households and cause federal spending to increase by a total of $18 billion from 2016 through 2025.
Alternatively, offering vouchers gradually over a period of 10 years to all households with income of no more than 30 percent of AMI would ultimately assist roughly 4.5 million additional households at a cost of $290 billion from 2016 through 2025.
Finally, offering vouchers to all households with income of no more than 50 percent of AMI would ultimately assist about 8 million additional households and would cause federal spending to increase by $410 billion from 2016 through 2025.