The Jan. 5 Economy & Business article “Rental vouchers don’t relieve struggle” put a spotlight on the obstacles to housing and economic mobility for low-income families who receive federal housing vouchers, which are administered under rules established nationwide by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Public housing authorities across the country are pursuing innovative strategies to increase landlord participation in the voucher program and to support voucher holders who want to move to high-opportunity neighborhoods.
The D.C. Housing Authority sets payment standards as high as 187 percent of HUD’s “fair market” rent (capped at market rent by neighborhood) to enable families to search for housing in low-poverty areas of the city. Public housing authorities are improving landlord recruitment and retention with incentives. They need more local flexibilities, such as those available through the Moving to Work Demonstration Program, as well as sufficient federal funding.
Sunia Zaterman, Washington
The writer is executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities.