WASHINGTON – Bipartisan reforms to improve the effectiveness of public housing programs were approved by the House on Tuesday by a vote of 427-0.
The reforms included in the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act” update and improve outdated rules and regulations in order to give state and local housing agencies and private owners more flexibility to meet key program objectives.
“Today is the first step in making meaningful reforms to our nation’s housing programs. I am pleased that my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, came together to support a comprehensive bill that modernizes an outdated system and begins to break a status quo that serves too few at the cost of too many,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), who serves as Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee. “I would like to thank Chairman Hensarling and House Leadership for their efforts in ensuring this important legislation received a vote in the House of Representatives.”
Among its reforms, the bill eliminates federal housing subsidies for over-income families, a problem identified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general in a report last year.
“These long-overdue policy changes will ensure we are not giving subsidies to people who do not need them as well as help reduce housing waiting lists for people that have genuine need,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).
The bill was approved by the committee in December by a vote of 44-10.
The Congressional Budget Office said the bill would save taxpayers $311 million over five years.