In the most recent (November 6) call for the national HoUSed Campaign for Universal, Stable, Affordable Homes, we were joined by HUD Special Policy Advisor Doug Rice, who discussed HUD’s recent decision to require public housing agencies in 41 additional metropolitan areas to use Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) payment standards based on Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs). Gale Schwartz from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and Emma Steelman and Tia Turner from Love Huntsville shared news from the field. NLIHC’s Kim Johnson gave policy updates.
HUD’s Doug Rice shared that the department’s action will cover expanded housing and neighborhood choices for more than 800,000 total households using HCVs. SAFMRs reflect rents for ZIP codes, while traditional Fair Market Rents reflect a single rent standard for entire metropolitan regions. SAFMRs establish voucher payment standards that more accurately reflect the local market and enable voucher holders to choose from a wider range of neighborhoods.
Gale Schwartz from the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania discussed her organization’s information campaign, which focuses on showing why eviction prevention still matters post-pandemic, and highlighted ongoing efforts across Pennsylvania to keep families housed. She shared the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania’s Eviction Prevention Resource Library, which includes reports, videos, and other resources on the impacts of evictions and successful eviction prevention program models.
Emma Steelman and Tia Turner from Love Huntsville discussed their organization’s efforts to develop a Homelessness Bill of Rights. They also shared details about a recently passed amendment to a budget ordinance that will expand Huntsville’s Community Development Department and help mandate programs focused on expanding affordable housing and ending homelessness.
NLIHC’s Kim Johnson discussed the latest news from Capitol Hill, including the status of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and the need to enact either a full spending bill or another continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown. Kim called on advocates to contact their senators and representatives to urge them to expand – not cut – investments in affordable, accessible homes through the fiscal year 2024 spending bill, including opposing any harmful amendments that would further cut HUD funding, undermine fair housing and racial equity, or prevent marginalized people from accessing the resources they need.
National calls take place every other week. Our next call will be held on November 20 at 2:30 pm ET. Register for the call at: https://tinyurl.com/ru73qan