Momentum appears to be growing in Congress for an expansion of the MTW program. In late June, the Senate Appropriations THUD Subcommittee approved a spending bill that included an expansion of the program to 300 PHAs from the current 39.
Meanwhile, in an unexpected move, Rep. John Carney (D-DE), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced a bill on July 7, 2015, that would expand the MTW program to 60 agencies. While the Senate Appropriations Committee produced a THUD bill containing an MTW expansion and passed it in a strong bipartisan vote, the House Appropriations THUD legislation didn’t contain an expansion. Carney’s bill is the first legislation with MTW language this session on the House side.
As we previously reported to CLPHA members, the Senate bill would require that at least 150 of the PHAs under an expanded MTW program must be small housing authorities administering no more than 600 combined units of public housing and Housing Choice vouchers. At least 125 of the agencies newly accepted into the program would be required to administer between 601 and 5,000 combined public housing and Section 8 vouchers.
Participation by larger authorities with between 5,001 and 22,000 combined units would be capped at 20 agencies. Of the 300, five are to be housing authorities doing full portfolio RAD conversions.
The Senate legislation would extend contract extensions for the 39 authorities currently in the MTW program for ten years. Those extensions would be based on the terms in the current contracts unless HUD and particular housing authorities decided otherwise.
In terms of funding, as we’ve reported before to CLPHA members, though the Senate bill would greatly expand the MTW program and “modestly improves upon the House funding levels for programs important to CLPHA members, the Senate bill still fails to adequately make needed and critical program funding investments due to the lack of a bipartisan budget agreement to end the sequestration caps.”