U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is backing a proposal allowing “greater choice and mobility” in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Last week, Rubio threw his support behind U.S. Sen. Todd Young’s, R-Ind., “Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act.” Other cosponsors include U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
“Families in Indiana and throughout America deserve the chance to live in the neighborhoods that best suit their needs, which may include access to more affordable housing, better education, transportation, or lower-crime,” Young said on Thursday. “Our legislation will help ensure the Housing Choice Voucher Program better serves families who need to relocate to areas with greater opportunity.”
“Ensuring that working families in Florida have the opportunity and ability to pursue the American Dream remains one my highest priorities in Washington,” Rubio said. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that working families not only have access to affordable housing, but also the ability to live and work in areas of greater opportunity that meet their specific needs.”
“Access to affordable housing is essential for families in Minnesota and across the country, but affordability isn’t enough,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation seeks to ensure that families have greater opportunities to live and work in areas where they’re not only able to afford rent, but also improve their lives.”
The bill would require public housing authorities (PHAs) to submit a regional housing mobility plans “detailing how the proposed group will assist families in moving to higher opportunity areas” and ensure HUD awards “demonstration program funds on a competitive basis and prioritize regional collaborations among PHAs that have high concentrations of voucher holders in low-opportunity neighborhoods and an adequate number of moderately-priced rental units in higher-opportunity areas, an existing high-performing Family Self Sufficiency program, or a strong regional collaboration including one or more small housing agencies, among other factors.”
The bill mandates regional housing mobility plans include information on who is taking part in the plan and the number of vouchers that will be available. HUD would have to report on the program’s effectiveness after five years.
On Thursday, the bill was sent to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. So far, there is no House counterpart.