In typical years, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees would have completed work on funding bills for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year, the coronavirus has delayed committee work on the bills in both chambers of Congress. In fact, coronavirus’ effects have been felt in virtually every industry, including affordable housing, and will play a large part in the operation of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program at least through the end of Fiscal Year 2021. It is clear that the virus has complicated the immediate funding needs of the program and exacerbated the volatility of rental markets while plunging hundreds of thousands of households, if not more, into housing instability. The current crisis thrusts two challenges in front of Congress, HUD, and housing authorities (HAs) alike: adequately fund and streamline management of the voucher program in response to COVID-19, and provide assistance to the many thousands of families with worsened housing needs.
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