Re: Housing Choice Vouchers and Housing Mobility Services in the Build Back Better Bill
To Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Chair Brown, and Chair Waters:
As a consortium of organizations dedicated to helping low-income families use housing subsidies to access neighborhoods that provide greater opportunities, we are writing to urge Congress to include robust funding for Housing Choice Vouchers and for housing mobility services in the Build Back Better bill. The voucher program is the one federal housing program that gives families a choice of where to live – and for many families, this can open up the possibility of living in a lower poverty community. The voucher program is a crucial part of our housing infrastructure and can help to ameliorate the legacy of segregation we have inherited from twentieth-century housing policies.
We know that the kind of housing mobility services that were recently included in the House reconciliation bill can disrupt cycles of poverty by assisting families with low incomes transition to neighborhoods with greater opportunities educational and economic gain. Housing mobility is a tool for increasing housing choice and advancing racial equity for families living in communities that have long been denied sufficient resources that support overall quality of life.
We were gratified to see so many national housing and civil rights organizations join a letter to Congress last month making some of these same points (see attached letter). Although the letter was focused on the 2022 appropriations bill, it demonstrates the wide support for expanding the Housing Choice Voucher program, and in particular, the importance of including housing mobility services along with any expansion of the program.
Thank you for your attention to this letter, and for fighting so hard for low-income families and children. We join with many other groups in urging Congress to include a substantial commitment to housing infrastructure, including Housing Choice Vouchers and housing mobility services.
Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership
Housing Choice Partners
Inclusive Communities Project
Poverty & Race Research Action Council