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Bill Would Radically Reshape HUD Rental Housing Programs

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  Issue 27, Spring 2005

Bill Would Radically Reshape HUD Rental Housing Programs
by Jim Schaafsma, MPLP Housing Law Attorney

The State and Local Flexibility Act of 2005 (S. 771; http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas), introduced in the U.S. Senate on April 13 by Sen. Wayne Allard, would significantly change the shape of the HUD rental housing programs. Among its provisions are ones that would:    

  • change the requirement that 75% of available Section 8 vouchers be reserved for "extremely low income" (30% and below the area median income) households by allowing 90% of vouchers to go to households with incomes up to 60% of an area's median. (At a hearing of the Subcommittee on Housing and Transportation of the U.S. Senate's Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said in administering the Section 8 program, housing agencies should be allowed to serve households with incomes up to 150% of AMI. In the Detroit area, 150% of AMI for a household of 4 be more than $100,000)


  • allow terms limits for HUD housing assistance of not less than 5 years;

  • not require that tenant rents be based on household income;
        
  • limit the portability of Section 8 vouchers, and limit to 1 year the enhanced feature of vouchers that go to families in privately owned HUD assisted housing whose owners have gotten out of their project based
        
  • create a new "Moving to Work" program that would allow HUD to waive all statutory requirements in the voucher and public housing programs except for public housing's demolition and disposition rules.



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