House Bill Targets ‘Over-Income’ Public Housing Residents

Representative Phil Roe (R-TN) recently introduced the “Fairness in Public Housing Act of 2016,” H.R. 4485, to “ensure that public housing dwelling units are occupied by low income families.” The proposed bill mandates that public housing agencies terminate the tenancy of public housing residents whose incomes are surpass 125 percent of the area median income at the annual income review, unless there are no families on the waiting list or applying for such housing. The tenancy termination would take place 90 days after the income determination.

This bill’s income threshold is similar to the one included in H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” which addresses the tenancy of those whose incomes exceed 120 percent of the area median income. This bill, however, would allow tenancy of such households to continue for two consecutive years, at which point residents could pay either the fair market rent or the combined amount of public housing operating and capital costs for the unit, whichever is greater. 

H.R. 3700 has passed the House and been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. This bill currently has no cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.