Bill would allow housing authorities to expand to neighboring towns

Bill would allow housing authorities to expand to neighboring towns, Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal, April 3, 2019, available here

A bill before the state legislature would allow housing authorities to extend their jurisdictions to administer Section 8 vouchers and develop low-income and affordable housing developments in cities and towns within 30 miles of their existing municipal borders.

The bill passed out of the legislative Housing Committee by a 9-5 vote with Republican members opposing the proposal.

HB 7067 would allow housing authorities to expand certain “high” and “very high” opportunity areas as determined by the Department of Housing. The aim is to increase affordable housing in high opportunity areas.

Supporters say it would allow larger housing authorities, with significant knowledge of development, to assist or partner with officials in smaller towns.

Existing law requires the DOH to operate a residence mobility counseling program to help certain individuals and families relocate to higher opportunity areas through education and support services. The DOH classifies opportunity areas
using a mapping analysis that incorporates an evaluation of educational, economic, and neighborhood characteristics across census tracts. The analysis, made available on DOH’s website, also looks at education data and crime rates.

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