Industry News

House passes housing relief bills

Bills would get hurricane survivors out of shelters and into homes

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The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday passed three bills that would provide direct housing relief to survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The bills, introduced in late September, grant waivers of some eligibility requirements under the Section 8 voucher program; empower the Rural Housing Services to convert voucher funds for rural housing projects destroyed by Katrina and Rita into temporary housing assistance; and temporarily remove the public services cap on Community Development Block Grant funds. H.R. 3894, the Hurricane Katrina Emergency Housing Act, was approved by a vote of 418-0. Introduced by Rep. Rodney Alexander of Louisiana, the legislation would: grant the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development temporary waiver authority of certain eligibility requirements under the Section 8 voucher program. The bill also would authorize the HUD Secretary to directly administer vouchers if a Public Housing Authority is unable to do so. In addition, it ...