Step by Step: Tenant Accounts of Securing and Maintaining Quality Housing with a Housing Choice Voucher

Molly W. Metzger, Annah Bender, Alana Flowers, Vithya Murugan, Divya Ravindranath | 2019


Previous research on renters’ experiences in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is robust, but much of it has been conducted in the context of mobility interventions providing added resources. In contrast, this study focuses on HCV renters’ experiences searching for housing without the support of a mobility intervention. In semistructured interviews, 34 HCV renters describe their housing search processes and outcomes. We find that renters struggle to secure housing in their preferred neighborhoods due to limited information and financial costs such as application fees and security deposits. Discussion focuses on practice and policy reforms that might support greater housing choice.