One passage in the Rosin piece, though, really hit me:
Studies show that recipients of Section 8 vouchers have tended to choose moderately poor neighborhoods that were already on the decline, not low-poverty neighborhoods. One recent study showed that...voucher recipients seemed not to be spreading out, as they had hoped, but clustering together.
I have for some years argued that Section 8 has been the country's most successful housing subsidy program. The program, which provides recipients a voucher that fills the gap between 30 percent of family income and area market rent, has been a far more efficient mechanism for providing subsidy than public housing or Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Yet the piece's point is likely correct.
It may also be a product of the program's design: on the one hand, landlords can refuse to take any Section 8 tenants; on the other, once a landlord takes one Section 8 tenant, he needs to take any Section 8 tenant. Perhaps a rule that would require all landlords to accept Section 8, but would also allow them to cap any one building to, say, 30 percent Section 8, would help reduce the problems described in the Rosin piece.