Small Area Fair Market Rents expanded! HUD’s 2016 Small Area Fair Market Rent rule was one of the most important fair housing reforms during the Obama Administration, and HUD has just dramatically expanded the program from 24 to 65 metro areas, potentially reaching over 800,000 families with vouchers. Small Area FMRs set Housing Choice Voucher rent caps by zip code, instead of at the metropolitan level, allowing families access to lower poverty neighborhoods, and also reducing overpayments in higher poverty neighborhoods. By the end of 2024, Small Area FMRs will be available to more than 45% of all families with vouchers in the country. See the HUD notice here. In addition, HUD recently renewed a procedure for PHAs to seek waivers for even higher exception payment standards where necessary to adapt to market pressures.
9th National Housing Mobility Conference: Although we didn’t record last month’s conference, we have collected the powerpoint presentations and some photos here. Sincere thanks to Professor Chetty, and to all of our amazing presenters, and to everyone who came and made it such a great day.
ED announces Fostering Diverse Schools grantees: 14 school districts have received a total of $14M in awards in this new grants program advocated for by the National Coalition on School Diversity and requested by Congress in the 2022 appropriations bill. At the same time, the Department of Education announced 16 new awards in the Magnet Schools Assistance Program, for a total of $92M. See the Department’s announcements here. The Biden Administration has requested a full $100 million for the Fostering Diverse Schools program in the last two federal budgets, and the high demand for this $14M grant opportunity indicates the continuing unmet need for voluntary school integration funding.
Continuing SOID innovations in NY State: As highlighted at the September housing mobility conference, the NY State Attorney General’s office continues to innovate in its enforcement of source of income discrimination laws, with an audit testing program that focuses on large landlords in lower poverty areas, leading to civil prosecutions and enforceable orders that include setasides for families with housing vouchers. At the same time, in New York City, the tenant-led group UnlockNYC is using tech tools to document and expose repeat offenders – see their latest report here.
New resource on state and local rental housing programs: The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have teamed up to create a valuable inventory of state and local (non-federal) subsidized housing programs in each state in the country. See the new report here.
p.s. – to receive this biweekly e-newsletter, sign up here.