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Voucher Utilization

NHLP and the Housing Justice Network submitted comments in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) joint request for public comment on how background screening may shut renters out of housing. NHLP and numerous members of the Housing Justice Network collaborated to prepare thorough responses to the request for information, detailing the way various challenges rental housing seekers face with rental application fees and screening processes, inscrutable background screening algorithms, the problematic use of eviction records and criminal history, and various forms of abuse and discrimination. Read the NHLP and Housing Justice Network comments here. Read More »

H.R. 3700 (HOTMA)

The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), H.R. 3700, Pub. L. 114-201, 130 Stat. 782 (July 29, 2016) is the first major federal housing legislation in almost two decades; virtually all other legislative measures in recent years have been riders to the annual appropriations acts. HOTMA makes changes to the federal housing programs in a variety of areas including unit inspections, recertifications, public housing income limits, and new rules regarding the use of project-based vouchers. Many of HOTMA’s provisions require HUD to implement regulations. See below for resources on HUD’s ongoing implementation of HOTMA. Read More »

NHLP’s Review of HOTMA Regulatory Changes 

This past January, HUD published new regulations pursuant to HOTMA that will impact all HUD tenants. The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) Sections 102, 103, and 104 govern important aspects of HUD programs including: How income and assets are calculated New rules for over-income tenants in public housing Guidance on recertifying tenant income NHLP staff discussed the major changes during a webinar, “NHLP’s Review of HOTMA Regulatory Changes” held on Thursday, May 18, 2023. During the webinar staff highlighted the issues most relevant to legal services attorneys and answered questions. NHLP has published an accompanying analysis and outline that details other changes to the regulations, most of which go into effect in... Read More »

NHLP Testifies at Hearing on Rural Housing Legislation

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Conducted a Hearing on Rural Housing Legislation NHLP’s Managing Attorney Natalie Maxwell testified in front of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development to discuss “Rural Housing Legislation.” Natalie addressed the importance of rental housing provided by USDA’s Rural Housing Service.   “The rental housing provided by USDA’s Rural Housing Service has historically been a critical source of safe, decent, affordable housing in rural America. However, it now faces its own unique challenges as the number of Section 515 properties that are at risk of exiting the RHS portfolio due to prepayments and mortgage maturities threatens to upend the lives of the more than 560,361... Read More »

USDA Rural Housing Programs

USDA operates its housing programs through the Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within the Rural Development (RD) division of the department. RHS staff, which is only located in Washington, D.C., establishes the rules and policies for operating the housing programs through regulations, handbooks and other notices. The day-to-day management of the programs is carried out by RD staff, which are located in all 50 states and U.S. territories. RD loans and grants, except farm labor housing loans and grants, can only be made in rural areas that have a population of less than 20,000 persons that are rural in character and are not contained within a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. Towns and areas of 10,000 persons or less... Read More »

Federal Court Approves Settlement Agreement Between Public Housing Tenants And Chicago Housing Authority

Settlement Ensure Tenants are Aware of “Minimum Rent” Policies Monday, United States District Court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly approved a landmark settlement agreement between a class of public housing residents and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). The settlement ensures that all public housing residents will receive adequate notice of their right to request a “hardship exemption” to the minimum rent requirement, and will provide financial relief in the form of rent adjustments and/or credits to thousands of residents who were charged the minimum rent when they were entitled to an exemption.   Federal law authorizes CHA to charge its lowest-income public housing residents so-called “minimum rents” of $75 per month. But that same law protects families who cannot... Read More »


The National Housing Law Project’s mission is to advance housing justice for poor people and communities.  We achieve this by strengthening and enforcing the rights of tenants and low-income homeowners, increasing housing opportunities for underserved communities, and preserving and expanding the nation’s supply of safe and affordable homes. We are committed to an environment of inclusion and equitable opportunity for members of the Housing Justice Network, our partner organizations, clients, staff, and board. We seek to hire individuals from diverse backgrounds, especially people with lived experiences impacted by housing insecurity and discrimination, or who have experienced the intersection of multiple systems of discrimination. We actively promote mutual respect, acceptance, appreciation, and teamwork across all lines of difference. NHLP was founded... Read More »

Green Book and Other Resources

NHLP conducts a range of webinars and in-person trainings.  A selection of our training webinars is available here and we are working to make more of them available. In addition we produce a range of publications from the Greenbook to manuals, white papers and other items to assist attorneys, organizers and advocates. Read More »

NHLP Analysis: The White House Blueprint for a Renter’s Bill of Rights

Last week, the Biden administration released The White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights (Blueprint) and we issued this statement. With the goal of stronger tenant protections, the Blueprint features more than two dozen commitments by federal agencies and suggests five rights that governments at all levels and the private sector should help ensure: Safe, high-quality, accessible and affordable housing; Clear and fair leases; Education, enforcement, and enhancement of renter rights; The right to organize; Eviction prevention, diversion, and relief. Though these principles are not novel, the White House’s recognition of them is noteworthy. Policies that the Blueprint highlights includes just cause, right to... Read More »


Our Recommendations to the Biden-Harris Administration  Our nation is in the midst of a long overdue national conversation about housing. The economic devastation of COVID-19 and a reckoning on police brutality have further exposed a system rife with race, gender, and other discrimination. We are advocating that the Biden-Harris Administration act on what housing advocates have been saying for years: our federal housing system is broken, and it’s time for a renewed commitment to just and effective housing policy that serves tenants and improves outcomes for low-income households and communities of color. With the National Housing Law Project’s more than 50 years of experience fighting for housing justice and strengthening federal law and programs, and informed by the strong network... Read More »