How the Section 8 Voucher Reform Legislation can help end homelessness in NJ

By a huge bipartisan vote of 333-83 the House this summer passed H.R. 1851, the “Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2007.” The bill reforms the Section 8 funding formula and revises the rent calculation process for Section 8 and public housing programs, expands work incentives and reduces administrative costs.

Among the changes, according to National Association for County Community and Economic Development (NACCED), in the legislation is an increase in the amount of Section 8 funds that can be used for project-basing from the current 20% to 25%, with an additional 5% for projects that serve those meeting the McKinney-Vento Act’s definition of homeless.

Our list of Section 8 Vouchers in NJ may not be up to date. However, the list we have indicated a total of 52,016 vouchers statewide. The 25% set aside would provide a maximum of 13,004 units that could be project based. The McKinney-Vento requirement would provide a total of 2,601 units to help end homelessness in NJ. Obviously with other demands on the vouchers and funding limitations  not all could or would be converted to project based vouchers.

However, this is an opportunity that will need to be addressed this year and in future years to insure that this resource is available to end homelessness in NJ.