Saturday, December 10, 2011

Home Forward Tuesday Public Hearing on Moving to Work Draft Plan for FY 2013, Including Voucher Mobility Provisions.

I have added the Tuesday December 13th Board Package to the Home Forward YTD Board Packages link in the right pane [meeting starts at 6:45 this month]. As is frequently the case the Board package has some goodies.  (This December package completes the CY 2011 Home Forward Board Packages, all [searchable] 766 pages).

On pages 26-32 you will find an Oregon Legislative report.

In addition this meeting will serve as the public hearing for the draft FY 2013 Moving to Work Annual Plan. While I have not read the entire document yet, there are some mobility related restrictions and incentives that caught my eye; I will read and I highly recommend to others reading the draft plan and submitting written testimony or testifying at the public hearing.

Mobility Related Provisions
The full draft MTW Draft Plan can be found HERE, and the mobility related sections start on PDF page 18: 

1. As a cost cutting measure Home Forward is proposing to RESTRICT mobility and to  
..deny requests for portability moves to another jurisdiction when:
  • The receiving housing authority intends to administer, rather than absorb, the voucher; and
  • The combination of higher payment standards and/or more generous subsidy standards would result in a higher payment standard for the household than the payment standard applicable within Home Forward’s jurisdiction.
Home Forward will make exceptions to this policy and will allow households to use portability to move to a higher cost area in any of the following circumstances:
  • A member of the household has confirmed employment in the new area;
  • A member of the household is confirmed to be enrolled in school [emphasis added] or in a training program in the new area; or
  • A documented household emergency requires the household to move to the new area.
[My read is that this restriction would not apply if families have a child enrolled in school for the new area].

2. Conversely, Home Forward is proposing to offer some limited landlord INCENTIVES related to mobility (PDF page 42):
Landlord incentive program: Home Forward will implement a landlord incentive program to attract new landlords and units in low poverty areas to the Housing Choice Voucher program. 

In its initial year of testing, the program will offer a one time, $100 incentive payment for each eligible unit a landlord leases to a Housing Choice Voucher participant. A landlord will be eligible to receive up to ten incentive payments per multifamily complex. 

Eligible units must be located in zip codes considered low-poverty areas and not have had a Housing Choice Voucher tenant in the prior 24 months.  
[It's not clear to me if prior 24 months restriction relates to project or to zip code]. 

3. Elsewhere in plan (PDF page 12) HF indicates that they will be providing some mobility counseling to voucher holders:
Home Forward has been awarded a grant from Metro to work collaboratively with the three neighboring housing authorities to develop tools to provide mobility counseling to Section 8 participants. This project, once implemented, will educate Section 8 participants about the costs and benefits of choosing housing in various locations, and provide them with tools for comparing the relative costs of living in various areas. The goal for this project is to reduce the combined housing and transportation costs for Section 8 participants.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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