Urge Your Representative to Support the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act
On Tuesday, February 2, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act. This legislation would make numerous common sense improvements to housing programs including public housing, housing choice vouchers, and project-based rental assistance. Amendments to the bill, both beneficial and harmful, are likely to be considered during floor debate.
Contact your Representative today and ask that they support H.R. 3700 and all amendments that will benefit low income households.
H.R. 3700 would make several important changes to the operation of housing assistance programs:
- Improves the project-basing of vouchers to increase housing options while ensuring choice.
- Changes income reviews to allow residents to hold onto 100% of increased earnings from income longer.
- Imposes housing assistance limits for households with incomes above 120% of the poverty level.
- Streamlines income deductions, while requiring hardship exemptions for negatively impacted families.
- Allows for expedited inspection processes for units to be rented with vouchers to quicken local efforts to house families and individuals.
How to Take Action
NLIHC urges all advocates to call their Representative’s office today! To find contact information for your Representative, contact the Congressional Switchboard at 877-210-5351, or click below.
H.R. 3700 is the most recent effort to make basic reforms to the operation of housing assistance programs, similar to those that had been proposed in the Section Eight Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA) and the Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act (AHSSIA). Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Chair of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced H.R. 3700 in October, passing the bill through Committee with a bipartisan vote of 44 to 10. All ten votes against were from Democrats on the Committee, who are relatively split on the bill due to concerns about changes to the child care expenses deduction for rent calculation. To address these concerns the bill was amended in Committee to require HUD to establish hardship policies for households who can demonstrate that they cannot afford their rent payments due to changes in the deductions. Further amendments to address this concern may come during floor debate in the House or when the bill moves on to the Senate.
For further information about H.R. 3700, see Memo to Members from 2/1/2016 at http://nlihc.org/article/housing-assistance-reform-bill-goes-house-floor-week-february-1.
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