Affordable Housing Section 8 FAQ

Statistical Usage of Section 8 Housing Programs

 In the following description, the three categories of subsidized housing signified in the statistics are “tenant-based assistance,” “privately-owned, project-based housing” (or multifamily assisted), and “public housing.” The tenant-based program allows those who qualify for Section 8 to use the subsidy at applicable dwellings in the private sector. The subsidy for project-based housing remains with the facility and does not dissolve when a tenant moves out. Public housing receives funding from HUD and is run by local governments and/or agencies.

In 2008, more than 40 percent of all subsidized housing units associated with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were administered through the tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher Program, or Section 8, according to HUD data from that year. Specifically, about 2.2 million subsidized dwellings were in the choice voucher Section 8 program, out of the approximately 5.1 million units that were under HUD programming. Private project-based housing represented about 33 percent of the overall housing availabilities that were subsidized by HUD programs. And, 25 percent was HUD subsidized public housing.

According to HUD, about 9.6 million people in 2008 lived in dwellings that were subsidized by HUD programs that fell under those three categories. In the tenant-based, Section 8 housing, “only about 93 percent of (the) contracted units were actually being used,” according to the HUD information. The same amount of public housing also was being used that year. Of the project-based housing, about 6 percent was vacant. While these HUD programs specifically helped supply millions of low-income individuals and families with suitable places to live, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service has also provided subsidized housing to those who qualified.

The website offers comprehensive data and information on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Section 8.