Public housing legislation

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Public housing legislation began in 1937 with the United States Housing Authority, and was significantly modified and expanded in the 1960s and 70s. In 1974, it was altered with President Nixon's market-based approach, known as "Section 8" housing.

Contents

110th Congress

House

Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2007

In 2007, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) introduced the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2007 (H.R.1851), which would overhaul the Section 8 low-income housing voucher program.[1]

The bill passed in the House on July 12, 2007. It is currently awaiting action by the Senate.


Bill summary

The legislation would, among other provisions:

  • Establish additional health and safety measures for residences, and cut off funding following violations.[2]
  • Increase the frequency of inspections and the agencies that can inspect properties.[3]
  • Extend some vouchers and restrict some voucher value reductions.[4]
  • Raise standard rent deductions and adjust them for inflation.[5]
  • Raise handicapped and medical assistance.[6]
  • Allow "Moving to Work" to become the new name for Housing Innovation Program. The newly renamed program authorizes public housing agencies to undertake innovative housing proposals, with the purpose of identifying models and policies that might be extended to all housing agencies.[7]


White House objections

The Bush administration opposed the bill, citing what it described as "unsustainable" cost increases on July 11, 2007, but did not threaten a veto.[8]

Rural Housing and Economic Development Improvement Act of 2007

On April 20, 2007, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Tex.) sponsored the Rural Housing and Economic Development Improvement Act of 2007 (H.R. 1982), which would:

  • Authorize the Office of Rural Housing within HUD to implement an assistance program to support innovative housing and economic development programs in rural areas, including Native American reservations, state agencies for housing finance and state economic development agencies for communities as well as non-profit organizations and community development corporations.[9]
  • The RHED is a competitive grant program started in 1999 but never formally authorized. It had, though, provided $175.3 million in competitive grants to support innovative approaches to solve rural housing problems through the combination of economic and housing development. At the time the bill was passed, the program had created over nine thousand jobs and twelve thousand housing units.[10]
  • Require that each member of a family aged 18 or over have a valid Social Security number when applying for initial or continuing assistance.[11]


Bill status

On July 16, 2007, the House passed the bill by a vote of 350-49.


Background

Following the U.S. stock market and banking system collapses in 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, the federal government attempted to address the massive national housing crisis that resulted. In 1937, Congress passed the Housing Act of 1937. Public housing efforts expanded in the 1960s with President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society initiatives sparking the expansion.[12] By the 1970s, however, public housing programs were seen as controversial, inadequate, inefficient, and ineffective, and in 1974 President Nixon introduced a market-based approach, the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.[13] In 1987, Congress and President Reagan established the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.[14]

Senate

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch resources

References

  1. Libby George, "House Passes Section 8 Overhaul, White House Cites Unsustainable Costs," CQ, July 12, 2007.
  2. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1851 To reform the housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937," ThisWeekInCongress.com, July 13, 2007.
  3. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1851 To reform the housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937," ThisWeekInCongress.com, July 13, 2007.
  4. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1851 To reform the housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937," ThisWeekInCongress.com, July 13, 2007.
  5. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1851 To reform the housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937," ThisWeekInCongress.com, July 13, 2007.
  6. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1851 To reform the housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937," ThisWeekInCongress.com, July 13, 2007.
  7. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1851 To reform the housing choice voucher program under section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937," ThisWeekInCongress.com, July 13, 2007.
  8. Libby George, "House Passes Section 8 Overhaul, White House Cites Unsustainable Costs," CQ, July 12, 2007.
  9. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1982 To authorize appropriations for the rural housing and economic development program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development." TheWeekInCongress, July 20, 2007.
  10. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1982 To authorize appropriations for the rural housing and economic development program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development." TheWeekInCongress, July 20, 2007.
  11. Robert McElroy, "H.R.1982 To authorize appropriations for the rural housing and economic development program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development." TheWeekInCongress, July 20, 2007.
  12. "Government's Role in Low Income Housing," Rental Housing On Line.
  13. "Government's Role in Low Income Housing," Rental Housing On Line.
  14. "Government's Role in Low Income Housing," Rental Housing On Line.

External resources

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