ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it has taken actions to help some families in Elmira and Elmira Heights afford housing.

According to HUD, recent rent increases have made it difficult for families who receive housing vouchers to use these vouchers to find safe and affordable housing. HUD publishes Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for metropolitan areas across the country every fiscal year and uses these numbers to calculate funding for vouchers and other housing assistance programs. FMRs are determined by data from public and private sectors, including sources like Zillow and Apartment List.

Since last year, FMRs have increased by about 10% across the country and even more in most of New York State. HUD calculated the FMR for Elmira to be $1,208 for the 2024 fiscal year. This is an increase of 16.3% from 2023’s $1,039 FMR. This means that people who have housing vouchers can use them to rent two-bedroom units in Elmira that cost $1,208 or less. This will go into effect on Oct. 1.

“Housing choice vouchers are some of the strongest tools we have to help families find stable and affordable housing,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “This year, HUD found that rents rose once again, accentuating the strain on costs for American families. These updated Fair Market Rents and our funding will ensure households can utilize vouchers in a competitive rental market.”

In addition to increasing the spending power of housing vouchers in the Elmira area, HUD allocated more funding towards housing in Elmira Heights. For the 2024 fiscal year, the Village of Elmira Heights will be getting an additional $57,207 for housing vouchers.

For more information about FMRs and housing vouchers, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research’s website.