Restoring Lost Housing Vouchers

New Research Reinforces Case for Funding

Douglas RiceThe Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has released a new report: “New Research Reinforces Case for Restoring Lost Housing Vouchers”.

Using recent research on how Housing Choice Vouchers help homeless and other poor families, CBPP’s Douglas Rice argues that Congress must restore the housing choice vouchers cut in 2013 due to sequestration. The report includes current estimates of how much funding Congress needs to provide to renew all vouchers in use and restore all lost vouchers.

Congress recently passed a budget deal that puts the money on the table to restore all of the vouchers cut through sequestration. Final funding decisions will be made in the next week which makes now the time to make the case for more vouchers. The report contains details about what to ask Congress to do.

Funding increases in 2014 and 2015 have enabled state and local housing agencies to restore roughly a third of the lost vouchers, but the need for housing assistance continues to grow, and the studies highlight vouchers’ effectiveness in reducing homelessness and producing other short- and long-term gains for families.

In the 2016 funding legislation that policymakers will negotiate over the next several weeks, they should include sufficient funding to renew all vouchers that families are using this year, provide an additional $470 million to restore the remaining vouchers cut by sequestration, and target these vouchers to reduce homelessness and meet other urgent needs.

This is a very unique moment in time. In previous years, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget has seemed like a zero-sum game – if you want more vouchers, something else will be cut.

This time around, this does not have to be the case. This budget deal makes it possible to fund multiple priorities in the HUD budget, but only if we make a strong enough case to do so.

Click here for the CBPP report.