Across the nation there are millions of residents living in public housing. The average household size for residents of public housing is 2.2 people and 1.6 for residents of Section 8 housing. Over 21% of residents remain in public housing more than 5 years and nearly 17% of residents remain in Section 8 housing for more than 5 years.
Approximately 842,000 children (ages 0-17) live in public housing representing 40% of residents living in public housing. Approximately 2.3 million children live in Section 8 housing representing 47% of residents living in Section 8 housing. Nearly 330,000 or 15% of residents in public housing are seniors (age 62 and above), and approximately 400,000 or 8% of residents of Section 8 housing are seniors. 19% of public housing, 17% of Section 8 housing and 48% of Housing Choice Voucher households include a member who is disabled.
The average annual household income of a household for residents of public housing is $12,569 and $8,869 for households in Section 8 Housing. This falls well below the federal poverty line, which in 2006 for a household of two was $13,167, and for a household of three was $16,079. The primary source of income for 30% of public housing resident households, 15% of residents of Section 8 housing and 32% of Housing Choice Voucher residents is through wages. However, despite the efforts of this working population 89% of public housing residents and 98% of Section 8 housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents fall into HUD’s “Very Low Income” category, with an income of less than 50% of the national median. Social Security payments are the primary source of income for approximately 55% of seniors in public housing and 52% of seniors living in Section 8 housing.
The demographic information above was obtained from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Resident Characteristics Report as of January 31, 2009.
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