A bipartisan bill to remove burdensome regulations and encourage landlord participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program was reintroduced in the House of Representatives in July. Called the “Choice in Affordable Housing Act,” the bill would provide $500 million in incentives for landlords, including signing bonuses and security deposit assistance, in addition to funding for public housing authorities that employ dedicated staff to liaison between landlords and tenants. In addition, the bill would reduce barriers, including reducing inspection delays, and allow for a higher number of vouchers to be used across more neighborhoods.

In introducing the bill, Congressmembers Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Oregon) cited the loss of landlords participating in the HCV program, with an average of 10,000 landlords leaving the program each year between 2010 and 2016. Specific features of the bill include:

  • Creation of the Herschel Lashkowitz Housing Partnership Fund, which would recruit, train, and incentivize landlord participation.
  • Ensuring that rents are set more fairly by requiring the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to use Small Area Fair Market Rents in select metropolitan areas to set standards that more accurately reflect market conditions.
  • Reducing the time for inspections by allowing inspections from other federal programs to substitute for HCV inspections if completed in the past year, and by allowing landlords to request pre-inspections.
  • Modernizing the annual evaluation of public housing authorities.

A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota).

Related Articles

About the Author

Chul Gugich, LDC
A principal of the LDC Policy, Legislative Research and Applications Team, Chul Gugich has 15 years of experience in affordable housing development and community building, working across a diverse spectrum of housing typologies and in service of a broad range of resident populations. Biography | Email

Share This Article:

This Month’s Articles