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The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Mobility and Neighborhood Attributes



This article examines the effect of receiving a housing voucher on the mobility and neighborhood attributes of low-income households. Housing policy has shifted toward vouchers in lieu of public housing projects to allow households to move away from high-poverty areas. We use administrative records collected from an experiment to examine this issue. We find that households moved immediately after receiving the subsidy but did not relocate to lower poverty neighborhoods until several quarters later. Our findings suggest that recipients initially lease in nearby units to secure the subsidy, while continuing to search for housing in lower poverty neighborhoods.