HARRISBURG – The Senate today approved a measure sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) urging the federal government to address the abuse of the porting process in the Housing Choice Voucher program.
Portability, or porting, is the process by which a family can transfer their Housing Choice Voucher rental subsidy when they move to a location outside the jurisdiction of the agency that gave them the voucher.
Individuals are circumventing the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s wait list by claiming residency in Johnstown, obtaining vouchers, staying for a few months and leaving, opening the door for more individuals to take advantage of the system.
Senate Resolution 45 calls on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which administers the program, to address the abuse of the porting process.
“This abuse of housing vouchers is creating a strain on the Johnstown community. It burdens our schools and health and human services providers. Our police are seeing a large number of cases from offenders who don’t live in our area,” Langerholc said. “We welcome any individual who wants to come to Cambria County to live, work and raise a family. But I won’t stand by while this program is abused to distort the intent of housing aid and disrupt the lives of long-term residents.”
In addition, Langerholc is sponsoring Senate Bill 98 to create establish Public Housing Safety Committees within each Public Housing Authority to properly vet individuals with a recent criminal record to determine if they present a threat to the health and safety of the community.
The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee came to Johnstown last year to receive testimony on the effect porting and other housing issues have on the Johnstown community. The committee approved Senate Resolution 45 in March after testimony from Sen. Langerholc. You can view his remarks here.
CONTACT: Gwenn Dando