Advocates Urge Senate Co-Sponsorship and Passage of Housing Modernization Act

NLIHC joined 39 national organizations in sending a letter to Senators urging them to co-sponsor the “Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act” (HOTMA) (S. 3083), recently introduced by Senators Tim Scott (R-NC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) (See Memo 6/27). S. 3083 is the Senate companion bill to legislation (H.R. 3700) the House approved unanimously in February. The letter also urges Senators to pass H.R. 3700 by unanimous consent.

The letter states, “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs face difficult budget pressures, and this reform legislation would help state and local agencies more efficiently manage limited funds to better serve families in need. These reforms ease administrative burdens for housing agencies and owners, while delivering fairer and more efficient assistance to low-income families. In addition, the bill provides new tools to preserve affordable housing, reduce homelessness, increase self-sufficiency and expand access to areas of greater opportunity.”

H.R. 3083 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 to voucher holders to quicken local efforts to house families and individuals.
  • Updates the Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) distribution formula.

Read the letter at: