Rep. Waters urges affordable housing, homelessness prevention funding

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has forwarded correspondence to several governmental entities advocating funding to support affordable housing and homelessness prevention initiatives.

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Waters, chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, has forwarded letters to senior Members of the House Committee on Appropriations, encouraging funding of the Minority Business Development Agency, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and programming supporting affordable housing and homelessness within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Waters is seeking funding for, among others, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which focuses on the unique needs of minority business enterprises; the CDFI Fund and the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, focusing on set-asides for minority lending institutions and minority depository institutions; the Rural Housing Service of the Department of Agriculture – which provides relief for rural residents who may face significant rent increases or displacement; and HUD direct rental assistance programs: public housing, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) programs, the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program (Section 202), and the Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities program.

“Since the 1930s, public housing has served an indispensable role on the continuum of affordable housing, providing housing for about 1 million families who may otherwise struggle to find housing in the private market even with a voucher,” Waters wrote. “The HCV and PBRA programs also provide much-needed housing assistance to 3.5 million low-income households, over half of whom are elderly or persons with disabilities. These important programs sharply reduce homelessness and other hardships, lift people out of poverty, can help improve children’s long-term outcomes in all aspects of life, including education, health, and upward mobility, and can reduce costs in other public programs.”

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