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house Bill H.R. 233

Should People in Government Housing Only Have to Prove They Need it Every 3 Years?

Argument in favor

This bill reduces how frequently the government checks up on the incomes of people in public housing programs. By doing so, it also reduces the stress on people in these programs and the burden on government. Everyone wins.

Patricia's Opinion
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03/23/2015
I have to do an income evaluation yearly in public housing and any change income must be reported immediately and hiding it is pretty hard..why is even an issue and its more taxing than doing taxes for federal or state..You have no idea until you have to do it... So why is this up for debate..I am permenantly disabled and wouldn't be in this position is greed hadn't stolen my retirement funds during the Enron scandal....Start punishing white collar crime with the same equality as other crimes and you might have fewer in public housing....I am fortunate to have my miniscule kitchen and a bed to lay my head at night..just down the street are hundreds of seniors living in tents in the park...if you check with them it was one mistake that put them there but an unending harassment that keeps them there ...Why in America can't we house them in empty public housing sitting idle?
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03/26/2015
Disabled people usually don't become able in a year.
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William's Opinion
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02/17/2016
Yes. Actually they should have to prove it annually. But they should not be penalized for getting a job. There should be a system to "wean" someone off public assistance once they are gainfully employed rather than terminating them immediately.
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Argument opposed

Federal housing programs are for the most vulnerable members of our society. But peoples’ economic circumstances change. Reducing how often officials check on incomes allow people to game the system long after they really need services.

Elinor's Opinion
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03/23/2015
I have to do multiple tax forms for all levels of government every year to support these people. The LEAST they can do is show AT LEAST ONCE EVERY YEAR that they need it.
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Dennis's Opinion
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04/14/2015
Once a year. It's free or reduced housing. If it's of value to you the least you can do is verify the need...YEARLY
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Kevin's Opinion
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03/26/2015
Every income earning American has to file yearly, but those who get the most for free don't???
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What is House Bill H.R. 233?

This bill seeks to reduce the stress on families that rely on federal housing programs of proving their income to public housing agencies (PHA). 


It would do so by amending current housing law for families with fixed incomes. After the first review of their income, housing authorities would not have to check in with a family about it, providing that they confirmed that 90 percent of their income remained fixed, and that their economic situation did not change significantly in any other way. The public housing agency would, however, have to verify the family’s income at least once every three years.

Impact

People that utilize government housing programs, landlords, realtors, U.S. neighborhoods, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development and its employees.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 233

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

What’s a fixed income? Well, it’s pretty safe to say that this bill’s writers aren’t talking about investment banking. In most contexts, “fixed income” is preceded by “senior citizen living on a”—they’re talking about people whose only income is what they get from social security or a pension. But this bill refers to families with fixed incomes, and sponsoring Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s (D-CO) press release refers to “low-income families.” Thus, in this context, the “fixed” in “fixed income” appears to mean people with an income that is limited and probably won’t change.


This bill amends the Housing Act of 1937, which created the United States Housing Authority. Under its well-known Section 8, it provides low-income individuals with vouchers to pay rent. It finds sponsor, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), working with two Republicans, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Rep. Frank C. Guinta (R-NH).


Of Note:

While, in practice, it’s boring accounting work, verifying a public housing recipient’s income is a highly politicized act. According to the Washington Examiner, lax income verification practices have allowed some people to live high on the hog, buying sports cars and satellite dishes, while receiving housing vouchers. “Local authorities who are supposed to verify income and stop fraud often aren't interested making sure taxpayer money is spent properly,” alleges the writer.


Of course, some of this could be pinned as extreme examples that aren't indicative of the population of people that benefit from government housing programs — turning everyone into Ronald Reagan's “welfare queen.” And while she was a real person, the fear of welfare queens is considered by many to be largely misplaced. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, families receiving public food assistance spend much less than families that don’t. Because, y’know, they don’t have a lot of money. A lot of eligible low income individuals don’t even receive benefits.


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) Press Release (Previous Bill Version)

Assisted Housing Insider

The Atlantic (Context)


Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user How Lucky We Are)

AKA

Tenant Income Verification Relief Act of 2015

Official Title

To allow reviews of certain families' incomes every 3 years for purposes of determining eligibility for certain Federal assisted housing programs.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house Passed March 23rd, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2015

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    I have to do an income evaluation yearly in public housing and any change income must be reported immediately and hiding it is pretty hard..why is even an issue and its more taxing than doing taxes for federal or state..You have no idea until you have to do it... So why is this up for debate..I am permenantly disabled and wouldn't be in this position is greed hadn't stolen my retirement funds during the Enron scandal....Start punishing white collar crime with the same equality as other crimes and you might have fewer in public housing....I am fortunate to have my miniscule kitchen and a bed to lay my head at night..just down the street are hundreds of seniors living in tents in the park...if you check with them it was one mistake that put them there but an unending harassment that keeps them there ...Why in America can't we house them in empty public housing sitting idle?
    Like (23)
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    I have to do multiple tax forms for all levels of government every year to support these people. The LEAST they can do is show AT LEAST ONCE EVERY YEAR that they need it.
    Like (14)
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    Once a year. It's free or reduced housing. If it's of value to you the least you can do is verify the need...YEARLY
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Disabled people usually don't become able in a year.
    Like (8)
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    Yes. Actually they should have to prove it annually. But they should not be penalized for getting a job. There should be a system to "wean" someone off public assistance once they are gainfully employed rather than terminating them immediately.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Every income earning American has to file yearly, but those who get the most for free don't???
    Like (6)
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    More often is needed. There is so much change in a family dynamic every year that a yearly justification should be required.
    Like (4)
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    If a senior is living on Social Security and that's their only income, it probably not necessary to spend time and money verifying. However, there are the questionable incomes that need to be verified more frequently as finances can change year to year. Perhaps a tiered verification system would provide a more efficient use of funding and time. Say their would be three ratings for verification: 1. Fixed, 2. Flux 3. Likely to change. Each rating defines the likelihood of financial stability or fluctuation. Based on the rating one receives determines how often an income should be verified.
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    Housing subsidy should come with the responsibility of proving continued need
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    They should have to prove they need it every year, to prevent wasted taxpayer dollars.
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    There is extreme abuse of the welfare system in this country and I see hardly any checks and balances in place to protect tax payers dollars. Proof, drug tests, etc need to be put in place for EVERYONE receiving government assistance!
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    Too many people receiving benefits become complacent and lazy. Let's keep the benefits for those who need it and make those who don't get off the roles and get a job.
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    If your going to give them housing let them be
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    This keeps people from becoming complacent. If it's not checked frequently, the desire to change your circumstance becomes stagnant.
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    Don't let people game the system.
    Like (1)
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    Yearly.
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    People's financial situations can change within months, allowing people to take advantage of welfare programs for such a long period of time is a willful waste of tax dollars.
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    Please don't let the already broken system be further exploited by fraud waste and abuse.
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    This is a small percentage of our population why must we hark on them tirelessly? A time cushion allows people the time to get themselves together without so much added stress. Instead of worrying about these people we should be focusing on how our government is unwilling to reimburse the funds they have stolen from social security.
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    Wow... Please don't
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