On January 25, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) introduced S.65 to reauthorize Title VIII of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act. This Title gives Congress the authority to appropriate funds for the construction of low income housing for Native Hawaiians, and provides authority for loan guarantees associated with the construction of housing that serves Native Hawaiians. “The reauthorization of Title VIII will support the continuation of efforts to assure that the native people of Hawaii may one day have access to housing opportunities that are comparable to those now enjoyed by other Americans,” Senator Inouye said upon the bill’s introduction. While annual appropriations have continued, the formal authorization for funding Title VIII expired after FY05. Senator Inouye introduced similar legislation in 2007. S. 65 was referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
S. 117, Moving to Work Expansion
On January 25, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation to dramatically expand the number of public housing agencies participating in HUD’s Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program to at least 250, from the current 32 PHAs with such status. These “charter” MTW sites would have permanent MTW authority, unlike the temporary status provided to current MTW agencies. Like existing MTW agencies, these charter agencies could merge their public housing and voucher funds, separate rents from incomes, and serve higher income households than is currently allowed in either the public housing or voucher programs. NLIHC has long opposed any expansion of MTW sites because of the potential for unaffordable rents, relaxation of the programs’ deep income targeting, and shifting of resources without careful oversight to ensure that at least as many households are being served; and because the demonstration has not been evaluated to determine harmful impacts on tenants. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.