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Housing Assistance and Disconnection from Welfare and Work: Assessing the Impacts of Public Housing and Tenant-based Rental Subsidies

March 2012

Andrea Hetling, Rutgers
Hilary Botein, Baruch College

Download '2012-08-npc-working-paper.pdf'.


The well-being of women who are disconnected from welfare and work are of growing concern to policymakers. One potentially critical source of support is housing assistance, as it subsidizes what is the largest fixed expense for most households. Using data from the 2001 and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and state-level variables from the Urban Institute's Welfare Rules Database, this article examines how public housing residence and tenant-based rental assistance relate to disconnection. Results from multilevel logistic models show that the odds of being disconnected are higher for public housing residents and lower for women receiving tenant-based rental assistance in comparison to those with private housing. State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) rules with regard to housing assistance have no statistically significant effect on disconnection. Findings indicate that housing assistance policies should be considered in tandem with potential TANF policy changes aimed at disconnected families, and that public housing is a critical site for interventions.

Employment, Unemployment, and the Labor Market, Housing, Social Welfare Programs and Policies