Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 12-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


After the Great Depression there was a need for federal housing assistance programs to help alleviate some of the distress that many Americans were experiencing during the United States housing crisis. The Section 8 Tenant Based Program, which is federally funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helps to provide thousands of Americans each year with safe, decent and sanitary housing; something they might not have otherwise been able to obtain without an intervention.

The Section 8 Program is viewed by many to be a success, however, as the program has grown over the years some of its unforeseen effects have now become apparent. The program was not only intended to provide better living conditions for eligible low-income families, but it was also projected that it would be a means to disband many of the states’ Public Housing units, which have become breeding grounds for poverty and crime. The program has been criticized of not only failing to decentralize these impoverished areas that are riddled with unlawful activity, but instead has been considered by some to be a major contributor in the destruction of many communities.

The purpose of this research is to investigate some of the negative effects of the Section 8 Program on participating communities. It is also the intent of this study to educate individuals on how the program works to enable them to make well-informed decisions and determination of the program’s success and impacts. Suggestions were given based on research findings on how to improve the Section 8 Program while adhering to the program’s initial design and objectives.