Section 8 Reform Updates

Support Reform Today; Funding Analysis
Deadline to Sign-on extended to Sept. 19th

NLIHCThe National Low Income Housing Coalition is asking national, state and local organizations to sign on to a letter to Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairs of the Senate Committee on Housing, Banking and Urban Affairs.

As of last Friday, 625 organizations – including Monarch Housing – in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have joined the letter.

The deadline to sign-on has been extended to Monday, September 19 – please sign on today!

The letter supports Section 8 voucher reform and urges the Senate to take action to improve the housing choice voucher program, which helps two million households afford safe and decent housing. Several provisions in voucher reform legislation will be of benefit to homeless and disabled people, including assisting their move into supportive housing.

Click here to sign on to the letter. To read the letter click here.

As background, on September 10, 2011, The New York Times featured an editorial, “Housing for the Truly Vulnerable”, that urges the House to finalize its Section 8 reform legislation and encourages the Senate to adopt similar legislation.

The need for improving the Section 8 program comes at a time, states the editorial, when:

The recession has made it increasingly difficult for low-income people to afford decent housing. Federal statistics show that record numbers of people now pay more than half their incomes in rent, causing them to skimp on essentials like food, medical care and other basics, and increasing the chances that they will end up homeless.

Click here to read the full NYT editorial and a summary of the legislation’s significant improvements.

In Congress, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD)has shown commitment to renewing Section 8 vouchers for every individual and family in the program. However, a recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that the legislation would not fund renewals for approximately 42,000 housing vouchers now used by low-income families. CBPP concludes that cost-free revisions to the legislation could ensure that all voucher renewals are funded in FY 2012. Last week, the committee marked up legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding.

Click here to read CBPP’s memo on Section 8.