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A new bill aims to increase private-sector participation in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

The Choice in Affordable Housing Act was recently introduced by Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.) and Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), ranking member of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.

The HCV program helps more than 5 million low-income Americans access affordable housing in the private market. More than two-thirds of the 2.3 million households participating in the program are headed by a person of color, and the program is especially important for the elderly and those with disabilities, according to lawmakers.

Unfortunately, landlord participation in the program is declining, with an average of 10,000 housing providers having left the program each year between 2010 and 2016. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has found that rent payment standards, administrative hurdles, and misperceptions of the program have caused uncertainty in rental housing operations and deterred landlords from participating.

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