On July 19, 2016, bill H.R. 3700, more commonly known as the Housing Opportunities through Modernization Act of 2016 (“HOTMA”), was presented to President Obama for signature after being unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate on July 14th. First introduced in October 2015, the bipartisan bill previously passed in the U.S. House of Representatives back in February of this year. Although HOTMA touches on a variety of housing issues such as veteran’s assistance, rural housing, and mortgage insurance, the bulk of the legislation deals with reforms to the Section 8 housing choice voucher (“HCV”) program and public housing. Some of HOTMA’s most notable proposed changes to the current HCV statute include:

  • Extending the length of project based voucher (“PBV”) initial contract or extension terms from 15 to 20 years;
  • Adjusting the total allowable number of PBV assisted units in a project to the greater of 25 units or 25% of all dwelling units;
  • Modifying procedures to determine tenant income and tenant rents;
  • Allowing greater flexibility in awarding and administering PBV contracts; and
  • Simplifying initial inspection procedures.

The full text of the bill can be found here. As of Monday July 25th, the bill has not yet been signed, but signature is expected shortly. Ballard Spahr will continue to monitor this legislation and related regulatory updates to come.