PA 15-153—sHB 6138

Housing Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING RESIDENCE MOBILITY COUNSELING FOR SUBSIDIZED HOUSING

SUMMARY: This act requires the Department of Housing (DOH) to establish a residence mobility counseling program to help certain individuals and families relocate to higher opportunity areas through education and support services. It defines “opportunity areas” as those designated as such using opportunity mapping analysis that incorporates a census tract-level assessment of educational, economic, and neighborhood characteristics, including education data and crime rates.

Under the act, DOH must (1) operate the program within existing resources and (2) make the opportunity mapping analysis available on its website. The department may contract with nonprofit organizations to provide the mobility counseling. Eligible individuals and families are those who currently hold federal Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers or state Rental Assistance Program certificates. The counseling must at least:

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

2. help locate rental housing that meets the individual's or family's needs;

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

4. connect the individual or family and the landlord to ensure a successful transition and housing stability.

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

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

OLR Tracking: KS; RP; MS; BS