The Affordable Housing and Self Sufficiency Improvement Act of 2012 (AHSSIA) moved an important step forward on February 7, 2012, when the Insurance Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee marked up a discussion draft of the bill.

If enacted, AHSSIA would bring significant changes to the Section 8 Tenant-Based, Project-Based programs and Public Housing programs. The bill includes components of earlier reform attempts through the Section 8 Savings Act (SESA) and the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA) along with several new provisions. The bill would also expand the Moving to Work Program and modify the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which HUD is in the process of implementing. To move forward in the House, a mark-up of AHSSIA will need to be held by the full House Financial Services Committee, followed by consideration by the full House of Representatives.

In an in-depth article, attorneys in Ballard Spahr’s Housing Group have summarized the bill’s key proposals. At a glance, the important changes are:

  • Moving to Work Program - The bill would modify and authorize HUD to expand the MTW program, with no cap placed on the number of agencies that may participate.
  • Changes to Admissions, Rent, and Continued Occupancy Policies - Various changes include permitting self-certification for assets under $50,000 and modifications to the income targeting threshold.
  • Voucher Funding - New guidelines would be established for funding the Housing Choice Voucher program.
  • Project-Based Vouchers - Among other provisions, the bill would create new exceptions to the limitations on project-basing Housing Choice Vouchers within a project and as a percentage of a housing authority's budget authority.
  • Rental Assistance Demonstration - The bill includes additional requirements for the rental assistance demonstration program authorized in the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill.

For more information, please contact Amy M. Glassman at 202.661.7680 or; or any member of Ballard Spahr’s Housing Group.

About Ballard Spahr’s Housing Group

Ballard Spahr’s Housing Group is nationally recognized for its leadership in the development and financing of housing, community development, energy, public/private partnerships, and transportation projects. The firm represents state and local housing finance agencies, public housing authorities, developers, mortgage and investment bankers, commercial lenders, and investors in tax credit programs in housing and community development transactions. The firm also advises clients on the programs and requirements of federal agencies related to housing, energy, and transportation, including HUD, DOT, DOE, FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and GNMA.

Copyright © 2012 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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