The Section 8 housing program provides rental assistance for low-income families. What many people don't realize is that it can also help them buy a house.
Why does the government do that? Under Section 8, qualified families can have a portion of their rent paid through what's called the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The reasoning behind the homeownership program is that, rather than giving that money to a landlord every month, the government might as well allow recipients to use those same funds to buy a home instead.
In many areas, Section 8 recipients can buy a better place to live than they could rent for the same subsidized monthly payment. Homeowners also have a personal stake in the maintenance of the property, so they tend to keep the place up better than subsidized rental units often are. Finally, owing their own home allows them to build equity in an asset that can eventually help them attain a higher standard of living.