February 9, 2016
Last week the House approved the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 3700), which contains many reform provisions that will improve upon existing rental assistance programs while achieving modest cost savings. The legislation passed with unanimous bipartisan support by a vote of 427-0. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a paper last week explaining how H.R. 3700 would build on the effectiveness of rental assistance programs by improving access to high-opportunity areas, helping to address homelessness, reducing administrative burdens for housing agencies, strengthening working incentives, helping to preserve public housing and improving resident quality of life.
The White House also issued a statement on the bill stating that it “appreciates the bipartisan effort to modernize and improve federal housing programs,” but noted some changes it would seek related to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements as the bill moves forward. Though its timeline for consideration in the Senate is unclear, the overwhelming support in the House suggests that this critical legislation is well positioned to be enacted in a year that may otherwise boast few legislative achievements.
REACH OUT TO YOUR MEMBERS TODAY,
The path forward in the Senate will depend on housing advocates reaching out to Senators!