LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved a request from the city of Los Angeles to increase the payment amounts for vouchers helping cover rent payments for low-income and homeless residents, city officials said Monday.
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, or HACLA, made the request earlier this year. The new voucher payment standards, or VPS, take effect on Oct. 1 for new contracts.
"HUD's approval of this increase to 120% of new Fair Market Rents will provide landlords with additional support to house even more homeless Angelenos," HACLA President and CEO Doug Guthrie said in a statement. "We're so grateful for the support of HUD and the Los Angeles Office of Public Housing and hope this will increase property participation in this challenging rental market."
People who receive housing vouchers, such as Section 8 housing for example, will receive more financial assistance to help cover rent and stay housed.
The adjusted payment standard is as follows:
-- For a studio, the VPS will be $2,132;
-- For a one bedroom, the VPS will be $2,407;
-- For a two bedroom, the VPS will be $3,052;
-- For a three bedroom, the VPS will be $3,915;
-- For a four bedroom, the VPS will be $4,320;
-- For a five bedroom, the VPS will be $4,968; and
-- For a six bedroom, the VPS will be $5,616.
Section 8 housing is the federal government's program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly and people who are disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market, officials said. Participants are free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program, including single-family homes, townhouses and apartments, according to HUD.
Housing choice vouchers are provided locally by public housing agencies. The agencies receive federal funds from HUD to administer the voucher program.
A housing subsidy is paid to the landlord directly by the housing agency on behalf of the participating family or individual. The benefactor then pays the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the program.
HACLA also has higher payments for certain communities in 70 "higher opportunity" ZIP codes, called Small Area Fair Market Rents.
"The city of Los Angeles continues to lock arms with our partners at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to urgently address the homelessness crisis," Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. "This coordinated action to raise the value of the vouchers is a major step toward bringing more people inside into permanent housing."
Bass thanked HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge for the support, property owners in L.A. who currently accept Section 8 vouchers and work with HACLA to provide housing for formerly unhoused Angelenos.
"I also want to encourage more property owners to consider renting a unit or two to Angelenos with vouchers. Each of us has a critical role to play in urgently confronting the homelessness crisis," Bass said.
For information on housing vouchers or begin the leasing process, contact HACLA at 213-252-1619 or email email@example.com.