A new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows that with Congress providing additional funding for vouchers in the last two years, “state and local housing agencies are restoring many of the 100,000 housing voucher lost after 2013’s sequester cuts.” A CBPP analysis of HUD data finds that public housing agencies restored 30,000 vouchers to low income families over the past year, about one-third of the 100,000 vouchers lost in the 16 months after sequestration took effect in March 2013.
There is more work to be done, CBPP cautions. Only one in four households that qualify for federal rental assistance receives it, and housing costs are increasingly outpacing incomes, resulting in severely cost-burdened low-income renters. “Restoring the rest - which the President and Congress should prioritize in their fall negotiations over a final 2016 budget - will likely require relief from sequestration,” CBPP’s Doug Rice writes in an October 7 blog.
The HUD funding bills passed by the House and by the Senate Committee on Appropriations are mixed for the voucher program, Rice reports. The House bill would provide sufficient funding to renew vouchers in use at the end of 2015, but the Senate Committee’s bill would not. The Senate Committee’s bill would fund some new vouchers for homeless veterans and for some new “family unification” vouchers, but the House bill would not.