Public Hearing Monday Reviews City's Planned Request to HUD for $14 Million to Fund Section 8, Rental Assistance Programs

Published : Monday, April 8, 2019 | 5:15 AM

Two Pasadena developments which offer low-income housing. Courtesy City of Pasadena

The City of Pasadena expects to receive $13 million this year in federal funding for its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, commonly known as Section 8, and another $1 million for other rental assistance programs funding.

As is required before funding is released, the City’s Department of Housing has prepared a Public Housing Agency Annual Plan 2019 for submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The plan will be subject to a public hearing scheduling for 7 p.m. Monday, during the City Council meeting, before it may be approved and submitted to HUD.

The HCV Program, administered by local public housing authorities (PHAs) such as Pasadena’s Housing Department, helps people with low income afford housing through a rental voucher which could pay from 60 to 70 percent of their rent.

Beneficiaries of the HCV program, sometimes called the “tenant-based voucher program,” need pay only 30 to 40 percent of their income for rental expense.

Currently, Pasadena’s Section 8 program has a budget totaling $13 million, the Housing Department said in an Agenda Report for Monday’s City Council meeting.

The Pasadena PHA Plan 2019 provides information about the agency’s rental assistance programs and services, its operations and management, program participants and their concerns, strategy for handling operational issues, and needs for the upcoming fiscal year. The plan has a Five-Year portion which each public housing agency, such as Pasadena’s Housing Department, submits to HUD, and the Annual Plan submitted every year.

The City has consistently submitted its annual plans since 1999. The Five-Year plans have also been approved and submitted in 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2014. With HUD changing the required submission years, the next Five-Year plan is due in 2020, the Housing Department said.

The 2019 annual plan includes a U.S. Department of Housing (HUD) template and required attachments, the most significant of which is the Administrative Plan. The Administrative Plan lays out the policies and procedures of the rental assistance programs.

Aside from the Section 8 HCV Program, the City’s Housing Department also administers the Continuum of Care Rental Assistance Program, and the Housing Opportunities program for persons with AIDS. These programs provide affordable housing to about 1,400 very low- and low-income households, representing about 2.5 percent of the households residing within the City of Pasadena.

With $13 million appropriated for the Section 8 program for 2019, the other programs are appropriated a total of $1 million in federal money, according to the Agenda Report.

Pasadena last opened a waiting list for the HCV program during a two-week period in October 2014. Over 26,000 households applied for assistance, most of whom neither live nor work in Pasadena but live in other areas of Los Angeles County or beyond. Although PHAs may not restrict applications to households living within their jurisdiction, the HUD allows PHAs to give preference for local residents living in ·their jurisdiction.

About 5,000 of the households who applied in October 2014 claimed the live/work Pasadena preference, and will be assisted first before households who do not have a Pasadena preference.

As of March 2018, the waiting list has over 23,000 households remaining.

According to Monday’s City Council agenda, the public hearing on the PHA plan is scheduled at about 7 p.m. at the City Hall Chamber, Room S249 at the Pasadena City Hall.

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