WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 19, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) led the congressional delegation representing Washington’s King County in urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fix the inflation formula used in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which provides rental assistance to low-income households. The current formula has been particularly damaging in areas with rapidly escalating rental costs, such as the Puget Sound region.
Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell joined Reps. DelBene, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith and Dave Reichert in sending a letter to HUD Secretary Julian Castro. The lawmakers wrote that the current formula has had “dire consequences” for constituents.
“The HCV program is built on the promise of providing the most vulnerable members of our community with safe, affordable housing, in order to expand access to economic opportunity nationwide. We are deeply concerned that the current methodology for determining HCV inflation factors will not only hurt thousands of families in the short-term, but also erode the long-term effectiveness of the program in meeting these critical goals,” the letter stated. “We urge you to adjust the methodology to account for changes in local rental markets experienced in 2014, and to ensure it effectively measures regional changes going forward.”
The King County Housing Authority saw a 26 percent increase in their neighborhoods’ Fair Market Rents between 2014 and 2015, but did not receive a HCV inflation adjustment in 2015 due to the current flawed formula.
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.