MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new government study suggests housing vouchers could help reduce homelessness in the U.S.

The United States Department for Housing and Urban Development examined homeless families at emergency shelters in 12 cities.

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After 18 months, the families that were given housing vouchers were less likely to re-enter homelessness or experience housing instability.

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Vouchers are used to help pay for housing in the private market.

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The department plans to follow those families for 3 years and report again in 2017.