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Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program A Brief Introduction
The History of the Section 8 Housing Program • 1937 US Housing Act focused on PHAs building, owning and managing housing. • By the 1970’s, the public housing stock stood at approximately 1.2 million units. • Mid-1970’s, Congress pushes a new housing policy channeling housing resources to private owners to build and maintain affordable housing. • It becomes Section 8 of the US Housing Act and creates two forms of subsidy: • project-based with 20 year contracts • tenant based
Program Today • Section 8 is the largest rental subsidy program in the country. • 2.1 million tenant based units authorized • 900,000 project based but decreasing • States with the highest number of units • New York- approximately 300,000 • California- approximately 350,000
Program Today • Who’s served in the tenant based program? • 64% are families with children • 15% elderly • 13% persons with disabilities • Majority live in non-poverty census tracts
Eligibility - Who Qualifies • Income Eligible • Primarily based on income, adjusted for family size • The income of 75% of the new admissions into the program must be under 30% of area median income: • Alameda County • One person - $17,400 • Two people - $19,850 • Three people - $22,350 • Four people - $24,850 • Five people - $26,850 • Six people - $30,800
Partnerships and Controlling DocumentsVoucher, Lease and Contract Property Owner Housing Authority Tenant
Income Eligibility and Rent Calculation • Income based rent • rent is calculated at 30% of adjusted income • minus a HA established utility allowance Example- Adjusted monthly income $719 X 30% =$216 Utility allowance is $46 $216 - $46 = $170 tenant monthly rent
Section 8 Reform Proposals Housing Assistance for Needy Families (HANF) & Flexible Voucher Programs
2004 HANF Program Components • Participation was optional • 2004 was to be the transition year • PHAs would continue to administer Section 8 program while States prepared to take over • $100M set aside for state capacity building • Program Administration • State housing agencies • PHAs, or • other entities (preference to faith based entities) • Administrative Fees capped at 10% of the budget authority
HANF Program Funding $13.6B • Number of families served to be the “same” based on renewal funding • 2.077M vouchers authorized for FFY 2003 • Renewal funding provided for 1.91M vouchers • $36 million for 5500 incremental vouchers for non-elderly disabled persons living in public housing units that are designated for the elderly (not an increase in units) • $72 million for Family Self Sufficiency Coordinators
Program Specifics…few! • Housing was the only authorized use of $’s • Current participants would be grandfathered into HANF program • “Majority” of vouchers for ELI families • Modeled on CDBG (entitlement communities) • Earnings cap to transition families out of program • Annual Adjustment Factor amount unknown
2005 Flexible Voucher Program Basic Design • Return to the dollar-based voucher approach –don’t cap number of families. • Simplify statutory and regulatory design. • Give much more flexibility to PHAs. • Continue the program as tenant-based rental • Continue homeownership option • Continue project-based option in a more streamlined fashion, e.g. PHA does not have to get HUD approval for location.
Program Administration • Program to be administered by the current administrators/PHAs. • HUD to focus on measuring a few, basic performance measures --utilization of funds, number of families served, financial management --not processes. • In cases where the PHA fails to or is no longer willing to administer the program, HUD to select another entity to administer the program.
Flexible Voucher Funding • Funding to be proportionate to funding received by the PHA in FY 2004 • Subsequent funding to be adjusted by an inflation factor
2006 Proposal • No details yet • Likely to be similar to the 2005 Flexible Voucher Program