March 13, 2020
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) have teamed up once again to focus on affordable housing. The organizations, specifically, submitted recommendations to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to improve the Section 8 rental assistance program. The submitted letter suggested that market-rate property owners might be encouraged toward greater participation in the Section 8 programs by reviewing HUD’s practices, some of which are:
- Improvement of initial lease-up procedure for tenant-based vouchers. “The requirements associated with initial lease-up are overly burdensome and often deter owner participation,” the NAA and NMHC commented.
- Allowing market-rate rents, and allowing for transfers of housing assistance payments contracts for project-based vendors. The issue here, according to both organizations, is that project-based vouchers are often confusing. Furthermore, while this practice is headed by local public housing authorities, “there is often variance in administration,” they added.
- Reducing regulatory burdens. NMHC and NAA both pointed out that HUD-documented additional costs related to Section 8 compliance, combined with continued uncertainty related to voucher program administration, can sour owner participation in such programs.
The NAA and NMHC noted that the submitted suggestions take into account “the legitimate business concerns of property owners,” while “aligning the practices of these Section 8 programs with standard private market practices.” Overall, the organizations noted, implementing the suggestions would help reduce red tape and increase the program’s effectiveness.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Amy Sorter