Voucher Investments in the Build Back Better Framework

The Build Back Better framework, which was released yesterday, included $24 billion in housing choice vouchers and $1 billion in project-based rental assistance. Here’s some additional information on what specifically is included in the Section 8 components of the framework.

Housing Choice Vouchers

New Vouchers – The latest Build Back Better framework includes $15 billion for new vouchers for extremely low-income families (30% of area median income). This amount includes costs for renewals and the costs of administrative fees. Administrative fees may be used for “other eligible expenses,” which may include the cost of facilitating the use of vouchers.

Vouchers for Households Experiencing Homelessness, Survivors of Domestic Violence, and Certain Other Survivors – The framework provides $7.1 billion for new vouchers for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and survivors of trafficking. The amount includes costs for renewals and the costs of administrative fees. Administrative fees may be used for “other eligible expenses,” which may include the cost of facilitating the use of vouchers.

Homelessness Waiver Authority – In administering vouchers targeted for homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and survivors of trafficking, HUD may waive or specify alternative requirements for the following: preferences in the selection of families; documentation of citizenship, ineligibility for drug crimes, drug users, alcohol abusers, and other criminal offenders, and regulatory provisions related to verification of eligibility, eligibility requirements, and admissions process; lease lengths and regulatory provisions related to the initial lease term; residency requirements; and the regulatory provisions related to the establishment of payment standards.

Tenant Protection Vouchers – The framework provides $1 billion for tenant protection vouchers (TPVs) for relocation and replacement of public housing units that are demolished or disposed as part of a public housing repositioning transaction made available in this framework. The cost also includes renewals of these TPVs and administrative fees. Administrative fees may be used for “other eligible expenses,” which may include the cost of facilitating the use of vouchers.

Mobility-related Services – The framework allocates $300 million for competitive grants for PHAs for mobility-related services for voucher families, including families with children, and service coordination.

Funds to Facilitate the Use of Vouchers – the framework includes $230 million for eligible expenses to facilitate the use of voucher assistance as determined by HUD. These funds may be used for property owner outreach, retention activities such as incentive payments, security deposit payments, loss reserves, landlord liaisons, other uses such as recruiting owners of units in low poverty areas and to encourage owners to participate in the voucher program.

HUD Administering and Implementing the HCV program – The framework provides $300 million to HUD to administer and oversee the implementation of the voucher program, including information technology, financial reporting, research and evaluations, and other cross-program costs in support of program administration.

Technical Assistance – The framework includes $70 million for new awards or increasing prior awards to provide an increase in capacity building and technical assistance available to PHAs.

Terms and Conditions – The amounts in this section must remain available until Sept. 30, 2031. HUD must allocate initial new vouchers in each fiscal year starting in 2022 and ending in 2026 in accordance with a formula(s) that includes “measures of severe housing need among extremely low-income renters and [PHA] capacity, and ensures geographic diversity.” HUD must establish a procedure to accept or decline the new vouchers. If a PHA fails to lease the vouchers it has received within a reasonable period of time, HUD may offset the agency’s voucher renewal allocations and may redistribute any unleased vouchers and associated funds to other PHAs. PHAs may use funds received under this framework only for the activities for which the funds were provided to such agency.

Exemption on Cap of Project-based Vouchers (PBVs) for Vulnerable Populations – By request by a PHA, HUD may designate a number of PHA’s vouchers allocated under this framework as units that do not count against a PHA’s PBV unit cap.

Implementation – HUD shall have the authority to issue regulations, notices, and other guidance to implement these voucher provisions.

Project-based Rental Assistance (PBRA)

The framework includes $880 million for PBRA, $20 million for technical assistance, and $100 million for the costs of HUD implementing the program. Amounts appropriated will remain available until Sept. 30, 2031.

Terms and Conditions – HUD may use these amounts for newly constructed housing, existing housing, or substantially rehabilitated non-housing structures for use as new multifamily housing. HUD may also use funds for project-based contract administrators.

HUD may use these funds to make assistance payments pursuant to contracts, in addition to the uses described above, “to attach the assistance to newly constructed housing in which some or all of the units shall be available for occupancy by very-low income families.” In awarding contracts, HUD shall give priority to owners of multifamily housing projects located in areas of opportunity (as determined by HUD), areas experiencing economic growth, areas experiencing rising housing prices. HUD will also give priority to developments that serve people at risk of homelessness or that integrate additional units that are accessible for people with mobility impairments and persons with hearing or visual impairments beyond those required by federal law.

Allocation – HUD will make awards using one or multiple of the following mechanisms: competitive processes, which may be carried out in multiple rounds; selecting proposals submitted through FHA loan applications that meet certain criteria; or delegating to states the awarding of contract, included related contract provisions like maximum monthly rent, subject to the law and HUD’s determinations.

Contract Terms – HUD may set the terms of the contracts including the duration, rent setting, and rent adjustments.

Waivers – HUD may waive or specify alternative requirements for the contents of the contracts and the amount and scope of monthly assistance payments; and the transfer, reuse, and rescission of budget authority.

Implementation – HUD shall have the authority to issue regulations, notices, and other guidance to implement these voucher provisions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s