17 Jun BPC Action Applauds Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act in Housing
BPC Action commends Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Todd Young (R-IN) for working together to reintroduce the Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act. This bipartisan bill advances a key Bipartisan Policy Center recommendation— to expand economic opportunity and better support families through targeted mobility housing vouchers.
Since its inception more than 40 years ago, HUD’s housing voucher program has helped families afford decent, stable housing, avoid homelessness, and make ends meet. Housing vouchers uniquely allow families to move into high-opportunity, resource-rich neighborhoods they would otherwise not consider or be able to afford, ultimately improving lifetime outcomes, particularly for young children. However, due to limited funding, families often wait years to receive a voucher, and only one in five eligible households receives assistance.
This legislation would increase the number of housing vouchers by 500,000 over five years. The new vouchers would be available to pregnant women and families with young children, with a focus on those who live in low opportunity areas or are experiencing homelessness or domestic violence. The bill would also authorize counseling services to be provided along with housing vouchers—services that help families decide where to live, assist in their home search, and overcome other barriers to securing suitable housing.
There is a long history of bipartisan support for increasing the number of available housing vouchers—from legislation to combat veterans’ homelessness to “on-demand” vouchers for foster youth at risk of homelessness as they transition to adulthood. The bill proposed by Sens. Van Hollen and Young would add to these tools and focus on a critical, unmet need—the housing stability of families with young children. BPC Action urges Congress to pass this important legislation.