House Financial Services Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Housing Choice Vouchers

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing on April 17 to review legislative proposals regarding the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Members of the subcommittee and four witnesses discussed three new proposals: a bill establishing a demonstration program to encourage HCV holders to move to higher opportunity areas; a bill to use vouchers for supportive housing for those recovering from opioid addiction; and a bill that prioritizes providing vouchers to youth leaving the foster care system. NLIHC submitted a statement for the record with recommendations regarding the proposals.

The “Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018,” which has yet to be introduced, would encourage local housing agencies to form regional collaboratives to reduce the barriers HCV holders currently face when moving to higher opportunity areas. Barbara Sard of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated that the proposed bill “could help the voucher program reach its full potential.” Research has shown that moving out of concentrated areas of poverty into neighborhoods with better schools, more employment opportunities, more robust community resources, and less crime improves health and economic outcomes, particularly for families with young children. NLIHC is supportive of the proposal.

The subcommittee also welcomed feedback and suggestions regarding the other two proposals, with witnesses offering varying opinions. While these proposals have worthy aims, NLIHC has several concerns about them, urging the Subcommittee to reconsider the proposals before moving forward.

Learn more about the hearing at: