Following years of NMHC advocacy efforts, a bipartisan measure to increase private sector participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program was released.
On March 1, H.R. 6880, the “Choice in Affordable Housing Act” was introduced, by Representatives Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and John Katko (R-NY). This critical legislation parallels Senate legislation introduced May 2020 by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
Why This Legislation Just Might Help Move the Needle
NMHC and NAA have long advocated for robust improvements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 HCV Program – a crucial part of the solution to our nation’s housing affordability crisis. Our decades-long advocacy efforts in this space have largely centered on the need for not only additional programmatic funding, but also important reforms that will incentive private sector participation.
Which is why NMHC and NAA have publicly supported this timely legislation. We believe it will bolster the HCV program by stabilizing funding, encouraging greater voluntary participation by housing providers and ultimately improving outcomes for low- and moderate-income households.
Further, it authorizes and directs additional resources to attract and retain landlords in the HCV program. Permitting voucher administrators to provide signing bonuses to landlords in low-poverty areas, helping with security deposits, reducing inspection delays and expanding the use of neighborhood-specific data to set rental subsidies.
What You Need to Know About Next Steps – Where the Legislation Goes Next
NMHC, NAA and the broader real estate industry support H.R. 6880 and will continue to weigh in with lawmakers to encourage their support. We believe the voucher program has the potential to be one of the most effective means of addressing our nation’s affordable housing needs, supporting mixed-income communities and improving housing opportunity across the nation. In the coming weeks, we will work alongside lawmakers to advocate for bill passage and continue to update members on its status.