The Small Area FMR demonstration project would allow PHAs to volunteer to use FMRs set at the ZIP Code level, as opposed to the traditional FMRs, which are set at the broad metro area level. Setting more local FMRs will help the Housing Choice Voucher program to better conform to market rents in specific neighborhoods, and thereby both provide greater neighborhood choice to voucher holders and reduce overspending on rents in low opportunity areas. NLIHC has long encouraged HUD to consider more local FMRs (see Memo, 7/16/10).
As a result of a lawsuit, HUD’s Small Area FMRs were introduced in Dallas this year. The original release date for the invitation to other PHAs was delayed until “early 2011” and as of this writing it has yet to appear.
The letter is signed by the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and the National Housing Law Project, as well as NLIHC.
A copy of the letter can be found at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Small_Area_FMR_delay.pdfc