Sununu bill seeks public housing flexibility
Senator John Sununu yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation that calls for expansion of the federal Moving to Work program, a demonstration project that is designed to help public housing agencies develop local approaches that increase housing choices for low-income families.
The New Hampshire Republican’s bill — which he introduced with Sens. Tom Carper, D- Del., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would permanently establish the program, making up to 250 public housing agencies nationwide eligible to participate in an initiative that was pioneered in part by the Keene Housing Authority.
“Too often, one-size fits all regulations created in Washington prevent individual housing agencies from responding to the needs of their communities,” said Sununu. “The Moving to Work program addresses this issue by enabling top-performing public housing agencies to better serve their clients through locally-developed solutions,” said Sununu.
He said the program has provided flexibility that has allowed participants “to create programs that encourage responsibility and personal initiative – helping low-income families achieve greater independence and expanding housing opportunities.”
The demonstration program, which included up to 30 participating housing agencies, began in 1996. It gives the agencies the opportunity to be exempt from existing public housing and tenant-based Housing Choice Voucher rules and allows them to combine operating, capital and tenant-based assistance funds into a single agency-wide funding source, as approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. – NHBR STAFF