Housing programs have fallen behind other welfare programs in promoting work and encouraging self-sufficiency. As a result, housing authorities are forced to maintain waiting lists for benefits, leaving seniors and individuals with disabilities waiting years as able-bodied individuals receive benefits for years.
Now is the time to implement work requirements for able-bodied individuals receiving housing benefits. The federal government can do more to signal an end to Obama-era barriers to work requirements through guidance and regulation. States can require PHAs to pursue work requirements just as PHAs can begin implementing work requirements themselves.
Today’s strong economy, a more receptive federal administration, and mounting evidence of work requirements’ success in other programs combine to make this the best moment for bold reform.