WalletPop has a story with a provocative opening line: “In what may be one of the strangest twists to the housing market crisis, Section 8 housing tenants are moving from urban housing projects and into high-end condo complexes and single-family McMansions that just a few years ago sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.” The premise makes some sense: in an unstable housing market with a lot of potential for vacancies and foreclosures, landlords are looking for steady money. While Section 8 users were “treated by landlords as the tenants of last resort” in better times, now landlords are looking for this consistent money from the government.
But as I read this article, I tried to figure out where the McMansions come into play: most of the examples here feature Section 8 users moving into nicer condos or apartments, not large homes out in the suburbs. So are Section 8 vouchers really be used for McMansions, which at the most basic level are large, single-family homes? Does a Section 8 voucher provide enough funding to allow people to live in McMansions, even ones with reduced prices? There is not much information here to back up this assertion although it does sound as though the housing crisis has allowed Section 8 users to access a broader market.
Also, the headline of the article, “Section 8 Tenants: the Housing Market’s Salvation?,” doesn’t really address if there are enough Section 8 vouchers to help the broader housing market. For this to happen, the federal government would need to free up more money for more people in this housing assistance program.