June 14, 2022

Banking Republicans Call on HUD to Immediately Reinstate Work Requirement Study for Taxpayer-Funded Housing

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Republicans are calling on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge to immediately reverse HUD’s decision to abruptly end a study on the incentives of work requirements for individuals given taxpayer-funded housing.

In 1996, Congress authorized HUD to begin studying work requirements for Americans given public housing or housing vouchers through the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program. Congress later expanded this program in 2015. In June 2021, Secretary Fudge abruptly ended the study of work requirements under MTW.

“There is personal dignity and value in work,” the Senators wrote. “It can create a pathway to a higher standard of living by developing and refining skills as well as promote traits like self-worth and personal responsibility. This seemingly political aversion to work requirements ignores the strong support, both from taxpayers and social services organizations, for policies promoting employment and encouraging economic self-sufficiency.”

As the letter mentions, many Americans receiving HUD assistance already work or participate in other federal subsidy programs that impose work requirements. The program also received significant stakeholder support.

“The abrupt and unexpected cancellation of the work requirement cohort comes after stakeholders had given wide support to the project and expended significant resources on it,” the Senators continued. “HUD’s assertion that it would rather study policies that improve rental assistance ‘in a way that is responsive to the economic realities and current needs of low-income families’ is groundless. With near-record lows in unemployment and labor force participation rates, there is no better time to test the benefits of work requirements for HUD’s rental assistance programs than now.”

The letter was signed by Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).

To read the full letter, click here.