What is the fundamental issue?
The Section 8 voucher program provides a government subsidy to bridge the gap between a low-income tenant's income and the cost of providing housing, enabling recipients to choose where they want to live. The property operator enters into a contract with the tenant and third party, usually the local housing authority, which pays the portion of the rent above the amount to which the tenant is directly obligated to the landlord, as a rental subsidy, subject to maximum fair market rents for the community.
I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?
NAR and IREM members own and manage properties that accept Section 8 vouchers. Streamlining the process will make it easier to provide affordable housing options for these residents.
NAR supports proposals to streamline the Section 8 voucher program, and provide greater flexibility to local housing authorities. NAR opposes block granting the Section 8 voucher program to the states. In addition, REALTORS® want to be sure that funding levels are sufficient to current and handle future housing needs.
NAR championed HR 3700, which contained a number of provisions to streamline the Section 8 voucher program including:
- Streamlining the property inspection process for vouchers
- Allows immediate occupancy if alternate inspection within 24 months
- Tenant may occupy after PHA inspection if no life-threatening conditions exist, as long as deficiencies corrected within 30 days
- Streamlines rent determination policies
- raise the standard deduction for elderly and disabled & index to inflation
- requires interim reviews only when a family’s income drops by 10 percent or more
- allows income determinations based under SNAP and other federal means-tested programs, without separate verifications
- Allow for eviction of over-income families
- Expands use of project-based vouchers in areas where vouchers are difficult to use due to market conditions
HUD is still in the process of implementing these changes, and NAR is working with the agency.
HUD has begun a series of "listening sessions" to collect feedback from landlords across the country about why they don't take housing vouchers. NAR is asking REALTORS® to participate in these sessions, and we are hopeful that HUD will make changes to the program that ease burdens on landlords.
Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee