Kennedy, Banking Republicans urge HUD to reinstate work requirement study for taxpayer-funded housing

“There is personal dignity and value in work. . . . 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.”

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) joined his Republican colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee in urging Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge to reinstate the Moving to Work study.

The Moving to Work demonstration program began evaluating the benefits of work requirements for people who receive taxpayer-funded housing in 1996. HUD unilaterally cancelled the research in June 2021.

“There is personal dignity and value in work. 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,” wrote the senators.

“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. 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,” added the lawmakers.

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

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