House Passes $1.75 Trillion Build Back Better Plan

House Takes Steps Toward Historic Housing Investments

The largest single housing investment in American history took a monumental step forward this morning, passing the House by a narrow 220-213 margin. The Build Back Better Act now moves to the Senate for further consideration. 

NAHRO led the fight to fully fund the Public Housing Capital Fund backlog at $70 billion, strongly championed the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and ardently supports the increase in Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance contracts.  

NAHRO members – thank you for raising your voices in support of affordable housing! The more than 50,000 letters you sent to Congress and the White House this year, maintained the spotlight on housing as infrastructure and made sure the critical housing provisions remained in the Build Back Better bill. But the fight isn’t over yet! Be ready to speak out after Thanksgiving to preserve housing in the bill as it moves to the Senate.  

The vote was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but an extended floor speech by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) delayed the final vote. Build Back Better passed along party lines, with a single Democrat opposing.  

The path forward is not clear in the Senate, as several Democratic Senators have issues with several provisions. Negotiations are expected to heat up after Thanksgiving, aiming for a final vote in the Senate by Christmas. Though there is widespread support for the housing provisions in Build Back Better, it is possible that changes to the bill could put the housing investments at risk. If the bill is approved by the Senate, it is likely to go back to the House for another vote. 

NAHRO member advocacy will be needed to ensure these critical housing resources remain in the Build Back Better bill as it is debated in the Senate. NAHRO will be reaching out to you through future Direct News emails and also follow NAHRO on social media (TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedin) for the latest information. 

The bill currently proposes the largest one-time investment in housing and community development programs ever, including: 

  • $65 billion for Public Housing investments 
  • $24 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers 
  • Expanded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits 
  • $15 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund 
  • $10 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program 
  • $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants 
  • $1 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance 
  • $450 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities 
  • $450 million for Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly 

Want more information? Check out NAHRO’s detailed breakdown of the bill’s housing provisions

HUD Publishes EHV Dashboard

HUD has published its Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) dashboard. The dashboard provides information about EHV leasing, issuances, unit utilization, voucher awards, and funding at both the national and the state level. The dashboard also provides information by individual PHA. Since PHAs have only started their EHV programs this summer, the program remains in its initial stages.

The EHV dashboard can be found here.

Oct. 17th – Last Chance to Receive Issuance Reporting Fee for EHVs Issued on or before Oct. 3rd

Housing agencies with Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) that have issued vouchers before or on Oct. 3, have until Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 to submit a form HUD-50058 (or form HUD-50058 MTW) to receive the $100 issuance reporting fee. To report in IMS/PIC, PHAs should do the following:

  • “PHAs should report in line 2n when submitting the HUD-50058 by entering ‘EHV.’
  • MTW PHAs that have received HUD approval to apply MTW flexibilities to EHV vouchers may report household participant data on the HUD-50058 MTW and must enter “EHV” on line 2p and leave line 2n blank.”

HUD has created an EHV report to identify IMS/PIC reporting discrepancies.

Eviction Moratorium to Expire Saturday; NAHRO Urges Extension

Despite efforts from House Democratic leaders to extend the federal eviction moratorium, which expires Saturday, July 31, no vote was issued to extend the order as of Friday afternoon. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly advocated for the Biden administration to act unilaterally to protect renters at risk of eviction due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

About 11 months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enacted the federal eviction moratorium to prevent the spread of the deadly virus among families and individuals that could be at high risk if made homeless through eviction. The public health measure has been extended on several instances, with the last extension made in June. The moratorium offered uniform protections to renters across the nation.

With the COVID-19 delta variant surging across the nation, now is not the time to put vulnerable families at risk by ending the eviction moratorium. NAHRO calls on Congress and the Administration to extend the moratorium through at least the end of September 2021.

Whether or not the eviction moratorium expires, NAHRO’s housing agency members remain committed to using every available resource to keep as many people in their homes as possible. Nationwide, NAHRO members continue to work with their residents and with local and national partners to provide support and aid – especially to those who have been most impacted by the pandemic. We are continually looking for new and better ways to help.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a vital and cost-effective tool to help people stay in their homes. As Treasury, HUD, and state and local entities work to distribute these much-needed funds as quickly as possible, we also look forward to the passage of a robust FY 2022 HUD budget and additional housing resources that will further help to provide the safety and stability of a home to all who need it.

NAHRO Interim CEO Mike Gerber statement on extending the eviction moratorium and quickly distributing Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds.

As more information is released on the status of the eviction moratorium, NAHRO will continue to provide updates.

HUD Updates Emergency Housing Vouchers FAQ to Version 4

HUD has updated the Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) frequently asked questions (FAQ) to version 4. The document covers questions on eligibility; partnerships and collaborations; voucher administration; administrative and service fees; portability; reporting requirements; EHV voucher allocation; EHV voucher acceptance/rejection process; Moving to Work (MTW); and Housing location and landlord resources.

Version 4 of the document can be found here.

Join Us!! NAHRO Summer Symposium is Tomorrow!

Please join National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for our 2021 Summer Symposium on universal vouchers and expansion of the housing voucher program tomorrow, July 13, 2021. There is no cost to attend the NAHRO Summer Symposium! Register at https://www.nahro.org/events/summer-symposium/registration/.

The NAHRO Summer Symposium is a day-long event on the present and future of the Housing Choice Voucher program. The event will bring thought leaders from across the country along with housing industry professional together to discuss the expansion of the housing voucher program. There is no registration fee to attend the Summer Symposium. Anyone interested can register at https://www.nahro.org/events/summer-symposium/registration/ for the July 13, 2021 NAHRO Summer Symposium.

Eviction Moratorium Upheld by US Supreme Court

On June 29, 2021, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, allowed a stay of a US District Court order vacating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium to stay in place. This means that the recently extended CDC Eviction Moratorium will remain in effect until July 31, 2021.

Justice Kavanaugh in a short opinion stated that, “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium.” Justice Kavanaugh further went on to say that because July 31, 2021 is only a “few weeks” away and those weeks will allow for additional time to distribute the Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds appropriated by Congress; therefore, Justice Kavanaugh voted to deny the removal of the stay.

NAHRO encourages PHAs, property owners, and landlords to use the resources available in HUD’s updated Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit to work with the residents to minimize evictions.

Sec. Fudge Announces New Effort to Address Reentry Housing Needs

Secretary Fudge issued new guidance yesterday clarifying that citizens returning from jail and/or prison and at risk of homelessness are eligible for Emergency Housing Vouchers.

In a letter sent out to PHAs, Continuums of Care, and HUD grantees, Sec. Fudge wrote that “HUD strongly encourages PHAs to work with their Continuum of Care (CoC) partners to ensure that individuals who are at-risk of homelessness after leaving prisons or jails are considered for these vouchers.”

HUD has eliminated permissive prohibitions for drug-related criminal activity for EHVs, since drug addiction can be a root cause of homelessness. Following a Housing First approach, it now recommends considering drug-related prohibitions to be separate from prohibitions on criminal activity against a person. HUD also no longer requires a “one strike” rule for residents for criminal activity, and instead defers to discretion of landlords and PHAs. More detail on criminal records and eligibility for EHVs can be found here.

Beyond EHVs, more guidance on criminal records in accordance with the Fair Housing Act can be found here. PHAs and federally-assisted housing cannot use arrest records as the basis to deny admission, terminate assistance, or evict residents.

HUD plans to issue future guidance and tools for PHAs and private landlords on tenant screening and best practices on reentry housing. Later this month it will also issue guidance on using Community Development Block Grants on community violence intervention (CVI).

CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium, White House Promotes Housing Stability

On June 24, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed an extension of the CDC order halting residential evictions due to non-payment of rent. The CDC eviction moratorium is now in effect until July 31, 2021, a one-month extension.

Existing and new tenant declarations are in effect until July 31, 2021. A CDC statement further provided that the CDC intends this to be the final extension. In preparation of the end of the CDC eviction moratorium on July 31 ,2021; PHAs, property owners, and landlord are encouraged to use the resources available in HUD’s updated Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit to work with the residents to minimize evictions.

Additionally, the White House released Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosure. The fact sheet highlights a number of actions that the Administration is taking to help state and local governments prevent evictions with a focus of local court eviction diversion programs and speeding the process of distributing emergency rental assistance funds.

NAHRO and Industry Partners Release Joint Statement Supporting Universal Housing Vouchers

On June 17, 2021, NAHRO along with its industry partners—CLPHA, PHADA, and the MTW Collaborative—jointly issued a statement on universal housing vouchers. Only one in five low-income households that are eligible to receive housing assistance can be served by existing programs due to limited funding. The statement discusses the need for additional rental assistance to address housing instability and prevent homelessness. The statement also discusses the strengths of the voucher program in providing scalable assistance that is proven and effective.

The full statement is can be view here.