Press Releases

Rep. Peters’ Bill to Cut Barriers to Housing Assistance Passes U.S. House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, H.R. 1047, the “Housing Assistance Efficiency Act,” introduced by Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) passed the United States House of Representatives. An identical version passed the House in December 2014 but was not acted upon by the Senate.

“San Diego is home to many service providers who know best how to serve those in need, but current law mires them in unnecessary bureaucracy. This bill removes a non-essential layer of red tape that will save money and allow people to get housing assistance more quickly,” Rep. Peters said. “We should be focused on making the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) more efficient so that it can better provide service to residents; instead the current system burdens HUD with more administrative work that doesn’t help anyone.”

Watch Congressman Peters’ speech today by clicking HERE or on the image below.

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Background on the “Housing Assistance Efficiency Act”

  • Mandate the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) conduct reallocation of funds once a year instead of twice a year

Twice a fiscal year, HUD has to reallocate Emergency Solutions Grants program funds that are unused, returned, or otherwise become available for the program. But there are almost never any unused or returned funds in this program. That unnecessary second reporting requires significant staff resources to complete. It is administratively more efficient to reallocate funds only once a year. This frees up HUD employees to provide more human resources towards providing better service to constituents.

  • Permanently include private nonprofits in the category of entities allowed to administer federal rental assistance

Prior to 2009, private non-profits could directly administer rental assistance through HUD’s Continuum of Care program, but a change in 2009 obfuscated rental assistance laws, and private nonprofits were left off the list of entities allowed to administer rental assistance. That change pushed a huge administrative burden onto an already stretched HUD budget. Right now, thanks to a temporary fix from the last omnibus appropriations bill, non-profits are able to administer rental assistance but that expires next week. This legislation will permanently allow non-profits to administer the assistance, giving certainty to the system and those who rely on it.