What is subsidized housing?


Quick Answer

Subsidized housing is a form of government financial assistance that aids low- and moderate-income individuals and families in paying for housing. The subsidy amount varies by income.

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Full Answer

Numerous types of housing subsidies are available. They include direct housing subsidies, public housing and nonprofit housing. The home mortgage interest deduction is the largest form of direct subsidy. It allows taxpayers to deduct mortgage interest paid on first and second homes from their taxable income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides rent subsidies through its Housing Choice program. Housing Choice is also known as Section 8. Participants in Housing Choice receive a voucher that is given to private landlords to cover a portion of monthly rent.

Public housing is real estate owned by the government and operated by a local housing authority. Public housing tenants must meet prescribed income guidelines and agree to abide by the rules set by the housing authority. Most residents of public housing are either elderly or disabled or families composed of women and children.

Nonprofit housing is developed and owned by nonprofit organizations such as churches and community development corporations. Nonprofit developers receive government-subsidized loans and grants that are used to finance affordable housing development.

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