House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3827, a bill to make a number of improvements to the project-basing of housing choice vouchers. Project-based vouchers are used to create and preserve affordable housing predominantly for extremely low income households in properties where rents would otherwise be out of reach.
“Gaining access to affordable housing is becoming harder and harder for far too many families,” Representative Waters said upon the bill’s introduction. “We’re in the midst of a homelessness crisis in my district and many districts around the country, and we need more projects to help get vulnerable populations off of the streets and into stable housing. And by making the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher program easier to use, we’ll help to overcome this challenge and maximize the effectiveness of this critical program while providing stable housing for our most vulnerable populations.”
The bill would change the limits on the percentage of vouchers public housing agencies may project-base from the current 20% of the PHA’s vouchers to either 20% of the PHA’s vouchers or 20% of the PHA’s voucher funding. The bill would allow PHAs to project-base an additional 10% of its authorized vouchers if the units would serve homeless individuals and families, veterans, or households with persons who are elderly or have disabilities, or if the units will be in areas where vouchers are difficult to use due to market conditions. The bill would also extend the permissible project-based voucher contract term from the current 15 years to 20 years.
H.R. 3827 is incorporated into H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” the bill introduced by Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Chair Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) on October 7 (see Memo, 10/13). Since October 22, four co-sponsors have joined H.R. 3700, Subcommittee Ranking Member Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), and Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), and Steve Pearce (R-NM). H.R. 3700 is considered non-controversial.
H.R. 3827 was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, which is expected to mark up the broader H.R. 3700 this fall.
Read Ranking Member Waters’ statement at: http://democrats.financialservices.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399384