I must say that I really kind of love the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Off the Charts Blog. They provide great information on a wide range of topics, but most importantly, they provide me the data to back up arguments I have with my friends about these same topics. One of the ongoing arguments I have with a couple of friends is that people who receive housing vouchers (specifically Section 8) are lazy and don’t work. Today on the Off the Charts Blog, Barbara Sard, CBPP’s Vice President of Housing Policy, posted about just this topic.
In her post, she summarized a new CBPP report analyzing the demographic characteristics and labor force attachment of voucher recipients. The analysis shows:
Voucher recipients who do work make around $17,000 per year, which is not enough to afford decent housing in most places.
The analysis also shows:
Of those that weren’t attached to the workforce, many households included a pre-school aged child or a person that has a disability that can make it very difficult work without the aid of child care subsidies and other assistance. The 129,000 or so recipients who are not attached to the workforce, disabled, or caring for a child under 6 or disabled person tend to get assistance for a shorter time and are geographically spread across the system.
To me this says that many of the myths surrounding Section 8 recipients are just that myths. Whether created/used for political means or out of ignorance of the data, they could have a serious impact on this country’s safety net.