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H.R. 5137 (114th): Moving to Work Reform and Expansion Act of 2016

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 29, 2016.

Moving to Work Reform and Expansion Act of 2016

This bill amends the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 to revise the public housing/section 8 (rental voucher) Moving to Work demonstration program.

The bill makes the program permanent and replaces its current purposes with the purpose to develop measures to promote employment and economic independence for:

families with children whose head of household is working, seeking work, or preparing for work; able-bodied individuals; and persons with disabilities who are able to work on a limited basis. Any number of public housing agencies (PHAs) may participate in the program.

The plan in a PHA's application to participate shall include criteria for:

a speedy process to determine a tenant's temporary hardship exemption from program requirements; and an informal administrative hearing or grievance process, made public on tenant request, before eviction or termination of assistance. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shall establish standards for a 10-year participation by all PHAs that have not been designated as troubled during the most recent two fiscal years.

These PHAs must include in their applications lists of innovative proposals designed to reduce the cost and increase the cost-efficiency of housing, and of innovative ways to assist families and accomplish annual goals.

HUD shall review and process applications to enable the transition to the program of at least 25 PHAs per year, with reserved spots for small and rural PHAs.

Each PHA shall:

submit annually to HUD budget plans meeting specified requirements, and hold as many meetings as necessary to give all assisted families a good-faith opportunity to hear and comment on the budget plan and related PHA reports. HUD shall review annually the activities of each participating PHA and determine its impact, effectiveness, and progress toward meeting program goals.

HUD shall not terminate the program participation of any PHA except upon certain findings concerning performance, including persistent failure to meet the goals identified in its application or failure to cure a material deficiency in performance.

The Government Accountability Office shall review the program every eight years.