Representatives Earl Perlmutter (D-OR) and Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced a bill on December 1 that would reduce the frequency of income recertifications for public housing and voucher-assisted households from annually to every three years for households whose income is at least 90% fixed income. Because tenants’ share of rent is based on income, recertifications are done to make sure tenants are paying the correct amount of rent.
The HUD Secretary would define “fixed income,” which has included Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in various versions of rental assistance reform legislation.
“This bill is a great first step towards ensuring our nation’s low-income families have safe places to live while simultaneously reducing administrative burdens families face yearly and creating better opportunities for housing authorities to use their time and resources more efficiently,” Mr. Stivers said in a press release.
Tenant income reviews are a labor-intensive function for public housing agencies and owners. Decreasing the frequency of such reviews for tenants whose incomes do not increase beyond a common inflation-based adjustment factor would save significant staff time and reduce potential for disruptions to housing due to errors that may occur in the recertification process.
The bill, H.R. 5776, was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
A joint press release from Mr. Stivers and Mr. Perlmutter is at http://stivers.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398470