Subsidized housing

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Subsidized housing or social housing is government supported accommodation for people with low to moderate incomes. Forms of subsidies include direct housing subsidies, non-profit housing, public housing, rent supplements and some forms of co-operative and private sector housing,



Co-operative housing[edit]

Co-operative housing is controlled by the members of the co-op, which is run by a board of directors. There is no outside landlord. In most cases, all residents of the co-op become members and agree to follow certain by-laws. Some co-ops are subsidized housing because they receive government funding to support a rent-geared-to-income program for low-income residents. There are other co-ops that are market-rate and limited equity, these types of cooperatives do not receive government funding and are not subsidized housing.[1] In addition to providing affordable housing, some co-ops serve the needs of specific communities, including seniors, people with disabilities and artists.

Examples of co-operative housing include: College Houses, Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), and Habitat '67.

Housing subsidies[edit]

Housing subsidies are government funding to aid low income tenants in renting housing. Subsidies are often defined by whether the subsidy is given to the landlord and then criteria are set for the tenants they can lease to or whether the subsidy is given to the tenant, typically as a voucher, and they are allowed to find suitable private housing. The subsidy amount is typically based on the tenant's income, but other formulas have been used.[2]

In rare cases a financial institution or non-profit organization will provide mortgage loans at rates that are not profitable for the sake of a specific group. In Canada one such organization is Non-Profit Housing Subsidies Canada which provides subsidized mortgage loans to employees and volunteers of other non-profit organizations.[3]

Non-profit housing[edit]

Non-profit housing is owned and managed by private non-profit groups such as churches, ethnocultural communities or by governments. Many units are provided by community development corporations (CDCs). These use private funding and government subsidies to support a rent-geared-towards-income program for low-income tenants.[4][5][clarification needed]

Public housing[edit]

Public housing is real property owned and managed by the government. Tenants must meet specific eligibility requirements.

Rent supplements[edit]

Rent supplements are subsidies paid by the government to private landlords who accept low-income tenants. The supplements make up the difference between rental "market price" and the amount of rent paid by tenants, for example 30% of the tenants income. These may have the unintended effect of increasing rents at nonsubsidized units, by distorting the local supply and demand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Housing Cooperatives". U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  2. ^ Haffner, M and Oxley, M, Housing Subsidies: Definitions and Comparisons, Housing Studies, Volume 14, Number 2, 1 March 1999 , pp. 145-162(18)
  3. ^
  4. ^ HUD, "Status and Prospects of the Nonprofit Housing Sector", June 1995
  5. ^ Cf. Koebel (1998), chapters on Non-Profit Housing

Further reading[edit]