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The Need to Rebalance Federal Housing Policy, Part 3: Current Policies Don’t Keep Up

July 18, 2012

Yesterday’s installment of this blog series described how housing affordability has worsened for renters.  Today, we look at how rental assistance can benefit low-income households — and how current rental assistance programs reach only a fraction of...

Congress Should Promptly Pass Core Provisions in SESA

October 13, 2011

I testified today before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity on how some of the Section 8 Savings Act (SESA) self-sufficiency provisions are promising, though improvements are needed, and on the risks of sharply expanding HUD’s “Moving-to-Work” demonstration. Here is the opening of my testimony:

Five Ways to Strengthen Housing Assistance Without Expanding the "Moving-to-Work" Demonstration

September 28, 2011

As I wrote yesterday and discuss more in a new analysis, some members of Congress have called for expanding the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Moving-to-Work (MTW) demonstration, which provides state and local agencies sweeping authority to operate outside the laws and regulations that normally govern the public housing and “Section 8” housing voucher programs.

Big Expansion of HUD’S ‘Moving to Work’ Demonstration Not the Smart Way to Improve Housing Assistance

September 27, 2011

It’s important that federal housing assistance operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Unfortunately, some members of Congress are considering a misguided strategy to pursue that goal: expanding HUD’s Moving-to-Work (MTW) demonstration.

Senate Bill Restores Some Public Housing Funds, but Still Makes Damaging Cuts

September 23, 2011

As I have written, a House subcommittee this month passed deep cuts to public housing that would expose low-income residents to deteriorating living conditions and raise federal costs in the long run by putting off energy efficiency improvements and other cost-effective investments. The people who would be harmed are some of the nation’s most vulnerable. Most public housing residents have incomes below the poverty line, and close to two-thirds of public housing units house someone who is elderly or has a disability.

Proposed Cuts to Public Housing Would Prove Harmful and Costly

September 16, 2011

The federal government has a long history of underfunding public housing, and the $1.4 billion funding cut that a House Appropriations subcommittee approved last week would make a bad situation worse, exposing families to deteriorating living conditions, greater risk of safety hazards, and possible displacement from their homes, as our new report explains.

New Study Shows Fresh Approach Needed to Fix Public Housing

June 24, 2011

A report sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated today that the nation’s public housing developments faced $26 billion in unmet needs for repairs and renovations in 2010. Many renovation projects supported by the 2009 Recovery Act’s $4 billion in public housing capital funding were just getting underway when the study was carried out, but even after those projects are done, the unmet need will still stand well above $20 billion, threatening the long-term viability of an important part of the safety net.

Keeping Public Housing in Good Repair

March 25, 2011

To help ensure safe, decent living conditions for the roughly 1 million households in public housing — mostly elderly people, people with disabilities, and working-poor families with children — the local agencies that run these developments need sufficient funds for repairs and renovations.

Fixing Leaky Roofs — and Protecting a Federal Investment

October 27, 2010

Many low-income families living in public housing have to cope with crumbling ceilings, faulty plumbing, and other unmet repair needs, the New York Times reported Monday. The main cause is a lack of capital funding to repair and renovate the developments, most of which were built decades ago. Fixing this problem is critical to the long-term success of this essential program.

Obama Affordable Housing Plan Deserves Action

July 9, 2010

Today the Washington Post praised a major Obama Administration plan to preserve the nation’s supply of affordable housing, which has shrunk alarmingly in recent years even as the need has grown. While some (including the Post) have concerns about certain aspects of the plan, which is stalled on Capitol Hill, on the whole it deserves strong support.