This bipartisan bill has hopes to assist low-income families to have the opportunity to relocate to areas that offer different opportunities.
(Washington, D.C.) - New legislation has been introduced by Indiana Senator Todd Young and Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen.
The Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act was created to provide 500,000 additional housing vouchers to low-income families with young children, prioritizing pregnant women and families with children under 6-years-old, that are facing continuous housing instability, or living in areas of poverty.
This would allow families to access safe and stable housing, primarily in areas of opportunity. The aim is to dramatically reduce homelessness and improve life outcomes for those that are assisted.
"The American Dream should extend to every American child, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. Evidence clearly shows what happens when we empower families with young children to relocate to areas offering good jobs, quality schools, and safe neighborhoods: earnings grow, job vacancies are filled, poverty declines, and children more fully realize their God-given potential,” said Senator Young. “This bill draws on recent groundbreaking research to invest in housing mobility vouchers and customized relocation support services to improve life outcomes and strengthen Hoosier families, all while substantially reducing taxpayer expenditures on healthcare, public safety, and social services.”
In Indiana, 27% of Hoosiers are considered extremely low-income, earning $21,050 or less per year for a family of four. Young and Van Hollen's legislation would hope to bridge the gap to offer affordable living to this percentage that are currently in a 134,485-unit deficit of housing.
For the state's average renter, a two-bedroom apartment is not affordable in 82 of 92 counties.
Thousand of Indiana's families face the negative cycle of evictions, housing instability, and homelessness due to the limited resources for assistance and high housing costs. Negative consequences that are a result from this cycle are health outcomes, educational attainment, and economic mobility.
“The Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act will expand assistance targeted to families urgently in need and prove that poverty is a cycle that can be broken,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana. “Our network enthusiastically supports this bill and applauds Senators Young and Van Hollen for their leadership in working to ensure unstably housed families and children in our state and across the country have more equitable opportunities to thrive in all facets of life.”