HUD Releases Economic Justice Agenda

HUD released a new report entitled Bridging the Wealth Gap: An Agenda for Economic Justice and Asset Building for Renters, which calls for asset building through increased savings, access to mainstream banking, and credit score improvement. The report details actions that HUD will take to help lower-income families build assets and increase their financial stability. In addition, HUD released a Notice of Funding Availability for $113 million for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program to assist families receiving HUD assistance.

The report lays out six actions that HUD will take. Highlights include:

  1. Launch the asset building Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration—HUD is increasing the number of MTW agencies, with a focus on implementing asset and credit building services for renters. New MTW agencies are expected to be announced in September 2022. MTW is an important designation that provides Public Housing Authorities with flexibility to design and test innovative strategies to respond to local housing needs.
  2. Expand asset building programs like the FSS Program—FSS has been a voluntary program that enables HUD-assisted houesholds to save money to increase their well-being. HUD proposes expanding this program to all HUD-assisted households by changing FSS to an opt-out program rather than an opt-in program.
  3. Move from annual to triennial income recertification—In an effort to strengthen family stability, HUD is proposing that annual recertification of income for families in HUD-assisted housing be changed to require recertification every three years. This will give families two extra years to save money from any rent increases as well as reducing the administrative burden for housing providers.

In addition, HUD will support renters with credit and financial counseling, help HUD-assisted young adults save money, and partner with other federal agencies and stakeholders.