Housing the Poor

Archive Report

Interest in Self-Help Efforts

Growth of Neighborhood Housing Groups

For most poor families in the United States, housing is just one more item on a long list of necessities that are overpriced, overcrowded, falling apart and out of control. A trip through any big U.S. city reveals whole areas of distressed housing filled with angry, suspicious, resentful people. The scope of the problem is staggering. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that 14.8 million lower-income families needed, but were not receiving, housing assistance this year either because they were living in substandard or overcrowded rental housing or because they were paying more than 25 percent of their incomes in rent.

Government programs reach only a fraction of the needy. Some 386,000 low-income families in ...

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