Monday, August 6, 2012

Advocates offer counsel on rental housing reform at Senate hearing

by Sarah Jawaid, National Housing Conference

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing held a hearing August 1, “Streamlining and Strengthening HUD’s Rental Housing Assistance Programs.” The intent of the hearing was to discuss and hear from experts on the challenges facing previously introduced bills that would make major reforms to HUD’s voucher programs, including the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act, the Section 8 Savings Act and the Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act.

Testimony included:
  • Keith Kinard, Executive Director, Newark Housing Authority
  • Dianne Hovdestad, Deputy Director, Sioux Falls Housing and Redevelopment Commission
  • Howard Husock, Vice President for Policy Research, Manhattan Institute
  • Will Fischer, Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Linda Couch, Senior Vice President for Policy and Research, National Low Income Housing Coalition
Panelists gave recommendations to members of Congress on how to improve the programs by simplifying rent setting, recognizing the impact of reduced voucher administrative fees, and by focusing on efficiency and effectiveness of the programs. For a detailed analysis of the hearing, visit the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s website. Also, view archived webcast of the hearing here.

Subcommittee Member Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced legislation to make improvements to HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program August 2, after announcing it at this hearing, which would “put into statute the existing method of funding HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program through administrative fees for Housing Choice Vouchers.” Read the NLIHC’s summary for more information.

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