Current Legislation and Policy
Major legislation to reform low-income housing assistance programs that Congress may consider this year could include a significant expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration. Under MTW, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has granted broad waivers of federal statutes and regulations and established alternative funding policies for 39 of the agencies that administer the public housing and “Section 8” Housing Choice Voucher programs. Despite its name, MTW is a broad deregulation initiative and is not mainly focused on promoting self-sufficiency.
As administrators of federal rental assistance programs face strained resources and mounting needs for affordable housing, it’s reasonable to consider whether they should develop and implement policies to encourage and assist families they serve to gain skills and work experience that could help them find jobs and increase their earnings. Increased employment and earnings might eventually enable some families to afford market-rate rental units and could also reduce the costs of the rental assistance programs by reducing the size of the rental subsidies some tenants need.
Bill to Simplify Housing Program Administration Contains a Few Promising Proposals, But Numerous Problematic Ones
Legislation introduced in September seeks to reduce administrative burdens and complexities for small local public housing agencies (PHAs) that operate the federal low-income housing programs. PHAs would realize administrative savings under the bill, but it likely would also produce unintended and undesirable consequences.
These materials include CBPP fact sheets and side-by-side comparisons for recent Congressional proposals to revise federal rental assistance programs, and Congressional materials that are not available on official websites.
Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act (AHSSIA)
- Comparison of Current Law, Dec. 2010 SEVRA Draft, and April 13, 2012 AHSSIA Draft
- AHSSIA Interested Parties Memo
- AHSSIA Legislative Text
- Committee One Pager on AHSSIA
- Testimony of Will Fischer, Senior Policy Analyst, Before the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
Section 8 Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA)
- December 2010 SEVRA Discussion Draft
- 810 Groups Urge Senate Banking Committee to Act on Section 8 Reform
Off the Charts: Three Evidence-Based Lessons for Future Housing Policy
February 27, 2015
Updated November 20, 2014
December 18, 2013
July 17, 2013
June 25, 2013
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