Lens on L.A.’s Unused Housing Vouchers

Michael Lens, associate professor of urban planning and public policy at UCLA Luskin, spoke to ABC7 News about unused housing vouchers in Los Angeles. The process to get a Section 8 voucher includes a long wait within a lottery system. More than 58,000 subsidized housing units and housing vouchers are available in Los Angeles, but only 85% of them are being used. Some landlords exclude tenants who use Section 8 vouchers, and city officials say this has contributed to the unhoused crisis. As Lens explained, “You have to find a rental unit at or below the fair market rent. The landlord, very importantly, has to agree to participate in the program, which means that they don’t have biases against people that are using government money. So there are these things that get in the way.”


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