Changes to Voucher Program, Rent Reform Proposed

Home Forward's draft Moving to Work plan for the year beginning April 1, 2014 is ready for review and comment.  The agency uses the annual planning process to outline what it hopes to do with the deregulation authority its MTW status provides.

The fiscal year 2015 plan proposes several new activities:

  • Alternative Initial Housing Assistance Policy:  Designed to increase landlord support for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program, this would allow Home Forward to pay landlords for tenancy prior to inspection so long as the unit ultimately does pass initial inspection.
  • Broader Payment Standards Range:  Expands the range in which we set payment standards, which are used to approve rent levels, to between 80%-120% of Fair Market Rent.  The current range is 90%-110%.  This will allow us to be more responsive to the rental market, as funding allows, to help ensure voucher holders have as much choice as possible in finding a home.
  • Rent Reform Modifications:  Voucher holders with changes in family size may receive a change in voucher size within 120 days of reporting the change, rather than waiting until their next scheduled review.  In addition, we would like to make permanent two provisions HUD recently implemented:  using past income rather than projected future income where appropriate and accepting self-certification of assets or income from assets that do not exceed $5,000.

Click here to go to our Moving to Work page, where you can read or download the draft fiscal year 2015 plan.

We welcome comments on the proposed changes.  There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, November 19 at 6:15 pm in the Lawrence Williams Conference Room at the Hollywood East apartments, 1605 NE 45th Ave., Portland OR.  You may also submit written comments to Home Forward, 135 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204, Attention: Rachel Devlin.