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H.R. 3700: Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015

Feb 2, 2016 at 5:52 p.m. ET. On Passage of the Bill in the House.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 3700 (114th) in the House.

The House this week is scheduled to vote on bipartisan legislation that would change how certain allowances for low-income families — such as child care and medical expenses — are used to determine federal housing assistance. Under the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (H.R. 3700), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would be required to change certain aspects of its rental assistance programs by altering calculations of tenant income and rent, and making households that exceed new income and asset limits ineligible for assistance.

Specifically, the bill proposes to lower the amount of child care expenses as well as medical expenses that can be deducted for elderly and disabled families, but would increase the amount that can be deducted for dependents. In addition, households with more than $100,000 in assets would be ineligible for assistance, though enforcement of this new requirement would be left to local housing authorities. Nearly five million families and individuals receive rental assistance each year through HUD, including the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program that provides assistance to roughly two million low-income recipients. Under the Section 8 program, tenants pay approximately 30 percent of their income towards rent and the rest is paid through federal subsidies.

“Section 8 is consuming a larger part of HUD’s budget because more people are participating in the program and new participants have lower incomes than legacy participants,” states the committee report to accompany H.R. 3700. “Many fear that unless the Section 8 program is reformed, it will soon drain resources from other HUD programs or it will require significant increased funding notwithstanding diminishing program effectiveness.”

In December, the House Financial Services Committee voted 44 to 10 to clear the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act for floor consideration. During the markup, the committee rejected an amendment offered by ranking member Maxine Waters (D-CA) to strike the provisions to scale back the deductions for child care and elderly/disabled medical care expenses.

“You have a relatively good bill with two very significant flaws,” argued Waters.

The full House is slated to vote on the legislation on Tuesday, and if passed would be sent to the Senate for further consideration.

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 100%
 
 
427
243
 
184
 
Nay 0%
 
 
0
0
 
0
 
Not Voting
 
 
6
2
 
4
 

Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source: house.gov.

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