Palazzo, Bishop, Ashford Introduce Small Public Housing Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressmen Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia), and Brad Ashford (D-Nebraska) introduced The Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2016 (H.R. 4816), bipartisan legislation addressing the administrative burdens facing small and rural housing authorities across the country.
“There is a huge difference between housing needs in small town Mississippi, Georgia, or Nebraska, and places such as New York City,” Palazzo said. “This bipartisan legislation removes that one-size fits all approach and gives small housing authorities the flexibility to operate more effectively and efficiently to better serve the needs of their residents.”
“The Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act would significantly ease administrative burdens on small housing agencies in Middle and Southwest Georgia and across the nation by simplifying regulatory requirements, cutting red tape, and encouraging efficiency—freeing agencies to focus more on providing quality affordable housing to residents.” said Congressman Bishop.
“I am proud to help introduce the Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2016 with my friend and colleague, Rep. Steve Palazzo,” Ashford said. “This important legislation will make it easier for Small Public Housing Agencies (PHA’s) to follow federal guidelines by simplifying inspection and compliance reports, eliminating unnecessary paperwork and streamlining operations. As the former Executive Director of the Omaha Housing Authority, I know how important it is to allow small PHA’s to save costs, and operate more efficiently so they can keep their attention on what matters most, their residents.”
H.R. 4816 would simplify inspection and compliance requirements as well as eliminate excessive paperwork for public housing authorities supporting fewer than 550 households. Specifically, the bill limits the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspections of housing and voucher units to once every three years, unless the small Public Housing Agency (PHA) is classified “troubled” by HUD. It also eliminates certain paperwork, including the submission of reports not required of owners and operators of Section 8 private-properties, as well as unnecessary environmental reviews for agencies not undergoing new construction. H.R. 4816 is the House companion bill to S.2292, introduced by U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) and Jon Tester (D-Montana).
Additional original cosponsors of the bill include: Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-New Jersey), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Missouri), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-New Hampshire), Rep. Bill Posey (R-Florida), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).