This bill would reform several aspects of the federal government’s low-income housing policies as administered through public housing agencies (PHAs) such as the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) within the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
PHAs would be authorized to make section 8 low-income rental assistance vouchers available for a dwelling unit after an inspection reveals non-life-threatening conditions. The payments would be suspended after 30 days if conditions require corrective action but none is taken. PHAs would also be authorized to prescribe further requirements for the enforcement of housing quality standards.
The frequency of normally annual reviews of family income for public housing and section 8 programs would be revised based on decreases or increases in annual adjusted income.
PHAs would be able to establish a payment standard through the section 8 program of to 120% or the fair market rent as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability, without approval of HUD.
Additional limitations, prohibitions, and requirements would be established related to a family’s eligibility for assistance based on assets, units owned by PHAs, PHA project-based assistance, fair market rent, denial of utility reimbursements, PHA capital and operating funds, and the expansion of the family unification program.
HUD would be directed to establish a demonstration program for executing budget-neutral, performance-based agreements with appropriate entities in the FY2016-FY2019 period that lead to cost reductions in energy or water conservation projects at up to 20,000 units of public housing. These agreements could last for up to 12 years each, and would apply to multifamily section 8 buildings, supportive housing for the elderly, or supportive housing for people with disabilities.
HUD would be directed to establish data exchange standards governing:
Necessary categories of information that state agencies operating related programs must exchange electronically with another state agency;
Required federal reporting and data exchange.
HUD may establish a Multifamily Housing Revitalization program to preserve and enhance multifamily housing projects funded by certain loans to ensure they have enough resources to provide safe and affordable housing to low-income residents and farm laborers.
Within HUD, a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs would be in charge of coordinating all HUD programs and activities that are related to veterans. Both HUD and the VA would be directed to give Congress annual reports about veteran homelessness and activities related to veterans.