CAA's LTE to Crain's on Section 8 Reforms

Advocacy News,

Section 8 rents not the whole issue

To the Editor:

Crain’s reporter Alby Gallun’s August 1 cover story “A New Start” accurately describes the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposal as offering more options for low-income families participating in the Section 8 housing choice voucher program. But tying rent subsidies to zip codes doesn’t address the larger regulatory burdens inherent with the program.

President Obama’s recent signature of the bipartisan Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 includes the kind of real change that will help families find quality housing. As Gallun profiled, expanding neighborhood options for voucher holders is laudable, and so is the new law’s streamlined inspection process, which provides voucher holders with a better chance to rent the apartment of their choice against traditional renters who can act more quickly.

But even with these positive developments, the Chicagoland Apartment Association stresses that until the Section 8 program guarantees a more seamless rental application process and reliable long-term funding, the private sector will be unable to do its part in making the program a total success.

Michael Mini, executive vice president, Chicagoland Apartment Association