Improving the Housing Choice Voucher Program

National -

WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee met today to review the Housing Choice Voucher Program and three legislative proposals that would improve mobility among families, foster kids and individuals recovering from opioid addiction within the program.

The proposals are as follows:

  • H.R. __, the “Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018,” would authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to carry out a housing choice voucher mobility demonstration to encourage families receiving such voucher assistance to move to lower-poverty areas and expand access to opportunity areas. A recent Harvard study showed that giving housing vouchers to low-income families significantly improved their lives and allowed children a better shot at success.
  • H.R. __, “The Transitional Housing for Opioid Recovery Demonstration Program Act of 2018,” would amend the United States Housing Act of 1937 to establish a demonstration program to set aside section 8 housing vouchers for supportive housing for individuals recovering from opioid addiction.
  • H.R. 2069, the “Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2018″ as amended, would amend the United States Housing Act of 1937 to include within the definition of “families” a child who is in foster care and has attained an age such that the provision of foster care for such child will end by reason of the age of the child within six months.

“Today’s hearing was essential for us to examine how we can help ensure low-income families and the impoverished are not left on the streets and in the cold. We focused on three different discussion drafts that use the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which is administered locally by public housing agencies, as a tool to increase mobility and lead families or individuals to better opportunities,” said Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI). “We are fortunate to have heard feedback from this panel to identify issues in the discussion draft that need refining.”

Topline Quotes from Witnesses

“Helping all Americans afford decent, stable homes is key to ensuing that people have the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives. Enacting the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act is one small, but important, step Congress can take to address this challenge.” – Barbara Sard, Vice President for Housing Policy, Center for Budget & Policy Priorities

“The “Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2017” offers a cost-neutral, two-pronged approach (early application and priority preference) to synchronize public resources for young people transitioning to independence from foster care.  Additionally, the bill incorporates recommendations by former foster youth to ensure that housing is used as a platform for self-sufficiency.”– Ruth White, Executive Director, National Center for Housing & Child Welfare

“It is imperative that we approach this crisis with full knowledge of the client we are attempting to assist in recovery. And, we need to understand that some will not be able to overcome this dreaded condition. Addiction is a killer, and needs to be dealt with seriously. … Shouldn’t we give the champions a chance to rise?” – Dean Hammond, Board Member, Foundation for Affordable Housing in Kentucky

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