Section 8 Housing Reform Moves Forward

Momentum is building for legislation that would increase private sector participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV).

On March 1, H.R. 6880, the “Choice in Affordable Housing Act” was introduced, by U.S. Reps Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and John Katko (R-NY). This legislation parallels Senate legislation introduced May 2020 by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).

This Legislation Might Move the Needle

National Multifamily Housing Council and National Apartment Association have long advocated for robust improvements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 HCV Program—a crucial part of the solution to the nation’s housing affordability crisis.

The decades-long advocacy efforts in this space have largely centered on the need for not only additional programmatic funding, but also important reforms that will encourage private sector participation.

NMHC and NAA believe this bipartisan legislation will bolster the HCV program by stabilizing funding, encouraging greater voluntary participation by housing providers and ultimately improving outcomes for low- and moderate-income households, the groups said in a release.

Further, it authorizes and directs additional resources to attract and retain landlords in the HCV program, the groups said.

It permits voucher administrators to provide signing bonuses to landlords in low-poverty areas, helping with security deposits, reducing inspection delays and expanding the use of neighborhood-specific data to set rental subsidies.

Where the Legislation Goes Next

NMHC, NAA and the broader real estate industry support H.R. 6880 and will continue to weigh in with lawmakers to encourage their support.

“We believe the voucher program has the potential to be one of the most effective means of addressing our nation’s affordable housing needs, supporting mixed-income communities and improving housing opportunities across the nation,” the groups said in a release. “In the coming weeks, we will work alongside lawmakers to advocate for bill passage and continue to update members on its status.”

Source: GlobeSt.