Metropolitan housing market restructuring and implications for poverty deconcentration: The effects of foreclosures on the spatial distribution of housing choice voucher residencies

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Lee, Sang Won
Immergluck, Daniel W.
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The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the largest federally subsidized affordable housing program in the U.S., where one of the program’s goals is to deconcentrate poverty and alleviate the standard of living for program participants. However, a large growing number of HCV tenants have experienced involuntary eviction due to rental property foreclosures in recent years. On the other hand, due to the massive amount of foreclosures and the depressed housing market for homeownership, there is evidence that a plethora of owner-occupied units are being converted into rental housing units in a diverse income range of neighborhoods. In this regard, this dissertation has endeavored to shed light on whether the new rental housing supply created from previously foreclosed properties, has assisted the HCV program’s goal of poverty deconcentration. Accordingly, three large central metropolitan counties were analyzed using exploratory spatial data analysis, descriptive statistics, and multivariate negative binomial regression. The dissertation finds that though HCV households have dispersed widely, the distribution is quite uneven. Also, the share of HCV households residing in high-poverty neighborhoods is shown to have increased over time. Foreclosures appear to have played a role in this distribution change, as foreclosure are found to have a positive effect on HCV residencies in a neighborhood. Finally, the impact of foreclosures was found to be greater in lower-income higher-minority neighborhoods compared to higher-income lower-minority neighborhoods. As such, the findings suggest that policymakers need to strengthen protection for renters facing foreclosure, implement strategies to reduce exclusionary practices, and increase HCV availability, in order for the HCV program to further achieve its goal of poverty deconcentration.
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