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The Suburb as the Slum: Housing Voucher Shifts in America

A new working paper from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Opportunity series examines a major demographic shift in housing voucher recipients from the cities to the suburbs. Authors Kenya Covington, Lance Freeman and Michael A. Stoll write: “Just as the suburbanization of poverty has gathered momentum, Americans who use housing choice vouchers (HCV) to help pay for their housing have increasingly moved into suburban areas as well.”  The authors studied data from 2000 to 2008 to see how this shift has taken place.

They found that:

The real estate bust has likely worsened this problem, having left millions of people in the suburbs underwater on their mortgages. As much as things changed over the last eight years, the coming decade could bring with it even more pronounced shifts in suburban poverty.