OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6138

AN ACT CONCERNING RESIDENCE MOBILITY COUNSELING FOR SUBSIDIZED HOUSING.

SUMMARY:

This bill establishes a statutory requirement that the Department of Housing (DOH) create a residence mobility counseling program to help certain individuals and families relocate from high-poverty areas to low-poverty areas (terms undefined by the bill). In practice, DOH operates a mobility counseling program through three nonprofit contractors (see BACKGROUND).

Under the bill, DOH (1) must operate the program within existing resources and (2) may contract with nonprofit organizations to provide the counseling. Eligible individuals and families are those who currently hold federal Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers or state Rental Assistance Program (RAP) certificates. The counseling, education, and support services must at least:

1. provide information on communities, schools, employment opportunities, and services in various areas;

2. assist with locating rental housing that meets the individual's or family's needs;

3. facilitate relocation by negotiating with current landlords about transferring rental assistance certificates or vouchers, and with new landlords about security deposits, rental payments, and accepting certificates or vouchers; and

4. act as an ongoing liaison between the individual or family, landlord, and rental assistance provider to ensure a successful transition and continuing housing stability.

The bill requires DOH to include information on the mobility counseling program in its annual departmental report to the legislature and governor. By law, the annual report is due by March 31.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

DOH operates a mobility counseling program through three nonprofit contractors. The program provides mobility counseling, including tenant education and housing search assistance, to income-eligible families participating in the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, RAP, and the Transitionary Rental Assistance Program. Services help clients move out of areas of concentrated poverty.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Housing Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

13

Nay

0

(03/11/2015)