Strengthening Federal Rental Aid Should Be 2018 Budget Priority

NJ Would Lose 3,260 Federal Rental Aid in the Senate Budget Bill, 820 Vouchers in the House Bill

On January 17, 2018, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities‘ Doug Rice write a blog post “Strengthening Federal Rental Aid Should Be 2018 Budget Priority.”

Congress continues to negotiate a two-year deal that would raise federal spending caps. Advocates remain cautiously optimistic that there will ultimately be a deal to lift the budget caps.

Lifting the budget caps could pave the way for an allocation of additional funds for housing vouchers and other priorities. The potential budget deal offers the opportunity to increase federal U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development funding for vouchers and other essential programs.

The blog post includes updated estimates of the number of vouchers currently in use that would be left without renewal funding under the House and Senate bill levels.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recommends:

  • $19.6 billion for voucher renewals, and
  • $21.6 billion for vouchers overall.

The recommended $21.6 billion funding level includes funding for 10,000 new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH), Family Unification Program (FUP) and Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) vouchers (as in the Senate bill).

Monarch Housing will be using the new breakdowns of the impact of the House and Senate bill funding levels for NJ to make the case for increased funding for voucher renewals.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 165,800 people in 70,000 New Jersey households use a voucher to afford decent, privately owned housing.

Under the House bill, New Jersey would lose 3,260 vouchers and under the Senate bill, New Jersey would lose 820 vouchers.

Moving into affordable housing with the assistance of vouchers allows individuals with low-incomes to stabilize their health and integrate into the community. Once their lives are stabilized, voucher recipients rely less on expensive emergency health care. Monarch Housing has seen the success of the Housing Choice Voucher program as local communities use vouchers to make progress in decreasing homelessness.

On January 24, 2018, communities across New Jersey counted our homeless neighbors. These new updated numbers will serve as a reminder that the supply of vouchers and affordable housing is not meeting the demand.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), in 2016, a family in New Jersey must earn a housing wage of $27.31/hour to rent a two-bedroom apartment and the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in is $1,420/month.

CBPP Blog Post

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