On July 14, House Committee on Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters sent a letter to House and Senate appropriators urging them “to omit harmful language currently included in the Senate THUD bill that would dramatically expand the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s controversial Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program without adequate consideration given to serious concerns raised by Members of Congress, federal agencies, and affordable housing advocates.”
Ms. Waters also notes that such a program expansion should be considered by the “regular order process” in the committees with jurisdiction over housing authorizing issues, which are the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The Senate bill adds 300 public housing agencies (PHASs to the MTW demonstration on top of the 39 PHAs currently in the demonstration program. Ms. Waters said this is a “vast expansion” that “raises several concerns.” Issues raised in the letter include the lack of program evaluation, concerns about fewer families housed with vouchers, the ability to impose work requirements and time limits, and other policy changes “that risk serious hardship for recipients.”
More information about MTW is on page 4-17 of NLIHC’s 2015 Advocates’ Guide, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Sec4.06_Public-Housing-Moving-to-Work_2015.pdf