|PRRAC Housing Policy Counsel: Do you think of civil rights when you read the Code of Federal Regulations? Are you committed to expanding the right to housing and the continuing struggle to dismantle government sponsored segregation in the U.S.? PRRAC is looking for a talented and creative lawyer to help us work with HUD, the Department of Treasury, and Congress; provide advice and assistance to state and local agencies and grassroots coalitions; and co-author detailed law & policy briefs. See our job listing here.
Source of income discrimination update: In 2018, the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities estimated, based on PRRAC’s database, that 34% of Housing Choice Voucher families lived in jurisdictions with source of income discrimination (SOI) laws protecting voucher holders. Since then, seven additional states and many new municipalities have adopted SOI laws, so we have just run the numbers again and conclude that in 2022, over 57% of all voucher holders are living in places protected by these SOI laws – see ourresearch brief here (based on our updated list). Of course, passing a SOI law is only the first step, as discrimination against voucher holders is still rampant across the U.S., particularly in higher opportunity areas. Vigorous enforcement of SOI laws is needed, including systemic audit testing and prosecution. Local housing authorities should be doing more to protect their clients from discrimination, and HUD needs to make it clearer to local fair housing groups that fair housing funding can be used to address this type of discrimination, which disproportionately affects Black and Latino families.
Other news and resources
The new FMRs and rent flexibility: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released an excellent explainer on the new HUD methodology for calculating Fair Market Rents, which help to establish rent caps for Housing Choice Vouchers, among other uses. The new methodology is intended to help HUD rents keep pace with accelerating market rents that have left many families with vouchers unable to find housing in a neighborhood of their choice. At the same time, HUD has renewed for another year some of the flexible waivers on voucher payment standards that many PHAs have been using to help families deal with rising rents (PRRAC and NHLP reviewed these policies in a recent fact sheet).
The Alliance for Housing Justice (AHJ) is seeking a Project Manager to coordinate the coalition and to support a strong, grassroots-led housing justice movement. PRRAC is an organizational partner of AHJ, along with Public Advocates, PolicyLink, the Lawyers Committee, NHLP, and Right to the City.
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