Friday, November 20, 2015

Update: My Home Forward Moving to Work Written Testimony on Differences in Voucher Rent Burdens.

Update: Home Forward staff have reminded me that "rent burden" is more correctly "shelter burden", as it includes an utility allowance. So wherever you find "rent burden" in text below substitute the more correct "shelter burden". 

The Oregonian has published a story HERE about rent increase requests received for voucher tenants. 

Related to the story about rent increases requested, I attended the community partners meeting at Home Forward this week in advance of the public hearing on the Moving to Work plan with the Board on Wednesday. 

At the community partners meeting a document with rent burden data for the tenant based and project based voucher program was distributed by Home Forward. The data shows that rent burdens are higher in the tenant based voucher program vs. the project based voucher program.  However, as expected, voucher rent burdens for both project and tenant based vouchers are lower than rent burdens for all Multnomah County households below 50% MFI. 

I tweaked the data in the Home Forward document to remove overhoused and zero income tenants from the total and did some analysis of rent burdens for the 5,306 voucher households where that data was available, comparing project based vouchers vs. tenant based vouchers. [ 70% of these 5,306 vouchers were tenant based].

My analysis/written testimony for the public hearing is HERE and embedded below, including a table and graph of rent burdens, broken out between the tenant based and voucher based program. The last page is a copy of the handout provided by Home Forward at the community partners meeting. 

In my written testimony I recommended that the following placeholder be included in the MTW plan:

During the year Home Forward will assess the rent burdens of voucher holders in both the tenant based and project based voucher programs

  • To increase transparency of rent burden data.
  • To determine if there are disparate impacts on protected classes in the higher rent burdens experienced by tenant based voucher holders. 
  • To examine the policy tradeoffs that reduction in rent burdens might require, including reduction in the number of families served.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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