March 7, 2022 |
Updated March 11, 2022
The latest bill is a critical step in resolving the housing affordability crisis. Here’s what you need to know.
On March 1, Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-05) and John Katko (R-NY-24) introduced the Choice in Affordable Housing Act (H.R. 6880), bipartisan and bicameral legislation that seeks to improve the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. Their bill, which parallels Senate legislation (S. 1820) introduced last May by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND), would ultimately bolster the HCV Program by stabilizing funding, encouraging greater voluntary participation by housing providers and ultimately improving outcomes for low- and moderate-income households.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) has long supported the voluntary HCV Program as a responsible solution to improve housing affordability. “Addressing the programmatic inefficiencies, redundancies and burdens surrounding the Section 8 HCV Program is paramount to addressing housing affordability and will help ensure more individuals and families can receive the help they need,” said NAA President and CEO Bob Pinnegar in a joint press release with the National Multifamily Housing Council. “We thank Reps. Cleaver and Katko for introducing this important legislation today, and Sens. Coons and Cramer for their continuing support and sponsorship,” he added.
In particular, the legislation:
- Empowers Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to offer incentive payments for housing providers that operate in areas of opportunity and for new participants.
- Creates security deposit assistance to cover repairs and damages and to help participants better manage their risk.
- Provides administrative fee bonuses for PHAs to hire “landlord liaisons” who serve as a dedicated resource for program participants.
- Establishes inspection reciprocity so that owners and operators who are already subject to other federal inspection protocols satisfy HCV requirements.
- Expedites the inspection process so that a new participating housing provider could request an inspection of a unit(s) now to enable the leasing of that unit to a voucher holder in the future.
- Requires that Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) jurisdictions use proper methodologies to calculate the SAFMR to ensure payments are accurate and align with market rates.
Over the coming weeks, NAA will continue its efforts to champion this critical legislation across the finish line. NAA remains committed to advancing sustainable solutions that work to improve housing affordability across the country.