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How D.C. Made Housing Vouchers Work

To provide affordable housing to meet the demand, DCHA has worked to make the housing voucher process easier for landlords.
December 23, 2018, 9am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Chad Zuber

Adrianne Todman claims her agency has had success by working closely with landlords. "Todman, who served as executive director of the D.C. Housing Authority from 2009 to 2017, knew that getting more landlords onboard to accept voucher tenants in their units would benefit both the tenants and the housing authority; the DCHA wanted to work with all landlords, those who managed many multi-story buildings and those who owned only a handful of units," Rebecca Gale writes for Pacific Standard. She found that landlords wanted responsiveness from DCHA. "The DCHA found the three things most important to landlords were creating a smooth process to deem families eligible, having inspections done quickly, and being able to do re-certifications without delay," Gale writes.

The agency seems to have been successful, compared to other similar cities. Voucher recipients in D.C. had better success finding units to choose from. "Martha Galvez, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute and author of the recent report on voucher denial rates, says that D.C. is notable because it has a neighborhood-based rent system, also called Small Area Fair Market Rents, which designates rent reimbursements by zip code, rather than by metropolitan area," Gale writes

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Published on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 in Pacific Standard
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