More Than Meets the Market? Landlord Agency in the Illinois Housing Choice Voucher Program

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The federal Housing Choice Voucher Program currently serves as one of the nation's predominant strategies for providing affordable rental housing for low-income households. The program is designed around two goals: first, to uphold the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's mission to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing; and second, to facilitate household residential location choices, with the idea that such choices can leverage other types of nonhousing opportunities for assisted households. While scholarly research has described a range of positive and negative household outcomes associated with the voucher subsidy, less is known about how those outcomes are produced on the ground. This research describes findings from 72 in-depth interviews with Illinois landlords and other voucher program stakeholders regarding their experiences with the program, with the goal of linking landlord practices to tenant outcomes. Findings of this research underscore the substantial influence that landlords have on assisted-household residential location choice and tenure, and show the potential for voucher program design to more actively engage with landlords as providers of supports that extend beyond the housing unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-524
Number of pages25
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • HUD
  • landlord
  • mobility
  • vouchers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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