House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to look into HUD’s Moving to Work (MTW) and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) programs. The Senate’s HUD FY16 appropriations bill would expand the MTW program from its current 39 public housing agencies (PHAs) to an additional 300 PHAs. For RAD, HUD has requested Congress remove the 185,000 unit cap on the number of public housing units that can convert their public housing subsidy streams to the project-based voucher or project-based rental assistance platform.
In an October 7 letter, Representative Waters asked GAO to assess HUD’s Moving to Work program with a focus on the program’s effect on tenants. Specifically, she asks GAO to assess how HUD and MTW agencies are monitoring the impact of policies like time limits, work requirements, and increased rent burdens on tenants. With the flexibilities provided by the MTW program, the 39 MTW PHAs are allowed to implement such policies.
Ms. Waters also asks GAO to assess MTW agencies’ hardship policies, how well agencies are meeting the MTW goal of improving housing choice for families, and how MTW agencies are using the funds they have shifted away from the voucher program, noting that MTW agencies shifted $590 million away from the voucher program in 2014. She also asks GAO to assess whether MTW agencies perform better than non-MTW agencies in terms of cost effectiveness, and whether MTW agencies are meeting the requirement to serve substantially the same number of low income families, as required by statute, and what HUD is doing to address any noncompliance.
In her second letter to GAO, Ms. Waters asks for a review of how housing agencies have proposed to maintain public ownership in the properties that have been converted under RAD, what would happen to properties converted under RAD and their residents if Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contracts are terminated, what have been the physical and financial impacts on the properties converted under RAD, and whether the rights of tenants have been protected under the RAD program as required by statute. She also asks GAO to assess how well RAD-converted units that are also recapitalized with Low Income Housing Tax Credits are continuing to serve very and extremely low income tenants.
Read Ranking Member Waters’ letter to GAO on MTW at: http://democrats.financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/10.07.2015_rm_waters_letter_to_gao_on_mtw.pdf
Read Ranking Member Waters’ letter to GAO on RAD at: http://democrats.financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/10.07.2015_rm_waters_letter_to_gao_on_rad.pdf