U.S. Rep John Katko (R, NY) announced this week his introduction of the Choice in Affordable Housing Act of 2022, a bipartisan bill that expands access to affordable housing options in Central New York and other communities across the country.

The bill was presented in partnership with U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D, MO).

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program helps more than 5 million low-income Americans, including the elderly and people with disabilities, afford safe and decent housing in the private market.

Landlord participation in the program is declining, however, with an average of 10,000 housing providers having left the program each year between 2010 and 2016, according to HUD. They cited misperceptions of the program, administrative red tape and “arduous rent payment standards” as contributors to withdrawal. 

The Choice in Affordable Housing Act would reform the HCV program by providing grant funding that allows local public housing agencies to offer landlords strategic incentives to accept vouchers and conduct recruitment efforts with local property owners.

The bill would also remove burdensome property inspection regulations and allow more vouchers to be used in higher-opportunity neighborhoods.

In addition to the grand funding, the bill would make moves to set fair rents using neighborhood-specific data by requiring HUD to expand its rule requiring the use of Small Area Fair Market Rents to calculate rents in certain metro areas; remove duplicative regulations that drive inspection delays; and refocus HUD’s evaluation of housing agencies to encourage increased diversity in neighborhoods where vouchers are used.

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