Housing Choice Voucher Program Gets Renewal Funding

HUD recently announced $30 billion in renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. This funding will help public housing authorities (PHAs) continue to provide assistance to families and individuals who are in need of affordable housing options. “As HUD’s single largest investment in affordable housing, these funds make accessing affordable housing less burdensome for renters, public housing authorities, and landlords,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman in announcing the funding.

The backdrop: Housing Vouchers assist over 2.3 million families in need of housing, including families with children, older adults, veterans, and people with disabilities, making it the most effective intervention to reduce homelessness and housing instability. Housing Vouchers offer families flexibility and a wider range of affordable housing options in communities with better schools, or access to jobs or other opportunities, but landlords must be willing to accept vouchers for them to be effective.

Since last year, the HCV program saw a $2 billion increase in funding to help maintain housing vouchers for families across the country. Since 2022, this budget allocation has grown nearly 20 percent (over $4 billion), allowing the value of a Housing Choice Voucher to keep pace with rising rental costs, and helping to make sure that voucher holders can continue to access neighborhoods of opportunity. 

What’s happening: This renewal funding announcement follows HUD’s publication of a new rule implementing changes to the Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based Voucher programs in response to the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). In a press release, HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman said that “HUD is meeting the moment to address the Nation’s affordable housing supply shortage. This Final Rule comprehensively modernizes our voucher programs to meet the needs of housing providers and deliver greater support for tenants.”

A major point of the Final Rule is to streamline processes to increase the availability of affordable housing. It also improves tenant protections by setting up local project-specific waiting lists, which is expected to help families move into units more quickly. The rule also codifies safeguards around inspections and property management. It also includes additional flexibility in the methodology PHAs use to establish fair market rents, updates to the utility allowance schedule, and Housing Assistance Payment calculations, among other items.