Report: Funding Boost Needed to Renew 2017 Housing Vouchers

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) recently estimated the cost of renewing all housing vouchers in 2017 at $18.86 billion. Rents are rising at over 3 percent per year while the 2017 cost-of-living adjustments for seniors and people with disabilities with fixed incomes, who make up about half of the households using vouchers, will be just 0.3 percent. 

The CBPP estimates that because of these factors, as well as policymakers’ actions to restore vouchers lost under sequestration, the cost of renewing all housing vouchers in 2017 has risen to $18.86 billion, This amount is well above what the House and Senate appropriations committees have approved in their respective 2017 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) bills.

The report predicts, under the bill that the Senate approved last May, for example, housing vouchers for at least 25,000 low-income households would be left unfunded in 2017, and the shortfall would be even deeper under the House bill. Under a “continuing resolution” that extends the current one and freezes voucher funding for the entire year at the 2016 level, vouchers for more than 100,000 families would be unfunded, a loss of assistance that would be greater than that caused by the across-the-board 2013 sequestration cuts.