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Without More HUD Funds, Every State Will Lose Housing Vouchers in 2018

October 27, 2017 at 10:15 AM

With the number of households struggling to pay rent near historic highs, and federal rent aid reaching only 1 in 4 eligible households, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2018 budget should provide federal rent aid to at least the same number of households next year as it’s providing this year. The Senate and House 2018 HUD funding bills, however, would fall short, our updated analysis of Housing Choice Voucher program costs shows — the Senate bill would leave vouchers for an estimated 40,000 households without renewal funds next year, while the House bill would leave an estimated 120,000 without the funds.

Housing vouchers help 2.2 million households — including seniors, peoples with disabilities, and families with children in nearly every community — afford a decent home of their choice, lift families out of poverty, and reduce homelessness and housing insecurity. Vouchers can also improve children’s chances of becoming successful, productive adults: one rigorous study shows that children in families that use vouchers to move to safe, lower-poverty communities are likelier to attend college and earn more as young adults, and are less likely to become single parents, than their peers in families that don’t receive vouchers.

To their credit, the Senate and House rejected the severe housing aid cuts that President Trump proposed in his 2018 budget. Both chambers’ bills also prioritize crucial rental assistance programs for funding within very tight budgets overall, including by boosting funding to renew housing vouchers. But the bills’ added resources won’t be enough to keep pace with rising rents in the private market and also cover an increase in the number of vouchers requiring renewal. (Of that voucher increase, for example, the President and Congress funded new vouchers for homeless veterans in 2016 and HUD awarded roughly 18,000 new vouchers last year to preserve public housing under the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.)

Taking rising rents and other factors into account, we estimate that $19.72 billion in renewal funds are needed in 2018 to prevent cuts in the number of households using vouchers — $345 million and $1 billion more, respectively, than the Senate and House bills would provide. The table below shows the estimated effects of these shortfalls in every state.

The House and Senate have begun to negotiate a final 2018 budget for HUD and other federal agencies ahead of a funding expiration in early December. One goal of these negotiations should be to provide sufficient funds to prevent cuts in the number of households using housing vouchers, and to help more families, seniors, and people with disabilities pay the rent and make ends meet.

Estimated Impact of Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Bills on the Number of Households Using Housing Vouchers, by State
State Number of households using housing vouchers, 2017 Housing vouchers left unfunded under Senate bill, 2018 Housing vouchers left unfunded under House bill, 2018
Alaska 5,072 -91 -269
Alabama 30,951 -557 -1,640
Arkansas 20,721 -373 -1,098
Arizona 21,809 -393 -1,156
California 304,204 -5,476 -16,123
Colorado 29,450 -530 -1,561
Connecticut 37,049 -667 -1,964
District of Columbia 11,408 -205 -605
Delaware 4,567 -82 -242
Florida 101,161 -1,821 -5,362
Georgia 55,354 -996 -2,934
Hawaii 9,961 -179 -528
Iowa 20,815 -375 -1,103
Idaho 6,607 -119 -350
Illinois 94,306 -1,698 -4,998
Indiana 36,345 -654 -1,926
Kansas 11,495 -207 -609
Kentucky 31,808 -573 -1,686
Louisiana 47,857 -861 -2,536
Massachusetts 84,131 -1,514 -4,459
Maryland 47,609 -857 -2,523
Maine 12,014 -216 -637
Michigan 55,095 -992 -2,920
Minnesota 31,192 -561 -1,653
Missouri 40,445 -728 -2,144
Mississippi 25,628 -461 -1,358
Montana 5,809 -105 -308
North Carolina 58,868 -1,060 -3,120
North Dakota 6,464 -116 -343
Nebraska 11,596 -209 -615
New Hampshire 9,696 -175 -514
New Jersey 70,056 -1,261 -3,713
New Mexico 12,277 -221 -651
Nevada 15,292 -275 -810
New York 227,221 -4,090 -12,043
Ohio 91,648 -1,650 -4,857
Oklahoma 23,183 -417 -1,229
Oregon 33,494 -603 -1,775
Pennsylvania 77,975 -1,404 -4,133
Rhode Island 9,459 -170 -501
South Carolina 25,649 -462 -1,359
South Dakota 5,418 -98 -287
Tennessee 36,318 -654 -1,925
Texas 148,613 -2,675 -7,876
Utah 10,922 -197 -579
Virginia 46,204 -832 -2,449
Vermont 6,514 -117 -345
Washington 52,778 -950 -2,797
Wisconsin 27,170 -489 -1,440
West Virginia 13,755 -248 -729
Wyoming 2,510 -45 -133
Total 2,239,885 -40,318 -118,714

Source: CBPP analysis of Department of Housing and Urban Development data.

Note: Voucher usage data for 2017 are the January to June average. The totals includes U.S. territories.


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