Freedom Of Choice

The Reagan Administration came into office determined to cut back sharply on the $30 billion the Government was then spending on low-income housing. As the keystone of this effort, the Administration in 1983 introduced federal housing-subsidy vouchers that allow low-income families to rent housing wherever they can find it, at whatever price they can negotiate; the Government then subsidizes a portion of the cost based on a "fair market" price. The traditional federal subsidy program requires tenants to pay no more than 30% of their income in rent, and only for housing that matches a "reasonable" rent set by Washington.

The...