Serrano, Clarke, Meeks Introduce Hardest Hit Housing Act of 2018
Washinton, D.C. – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano, Representatives Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), introduced legislation to provide public housing, foreclosure mitigation, and rental assistance grants through the United States Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) with supplemental funding for state public housing authorities to ensure Americans have access to affordable housing.
The Hardest Hit Housing Act of 2018 will allocate $4 billion a year in supplemental funding to the Public Housing Capital Fund Grant Program for public housing authorities that own or manage more than 10,000 units. It will also supply foreclosure mitigation and assistance grants to the 15 states with the highest foreclosure rates. Additionally, the bill will authorize rental assistance grants to fund 100,000 incremental housing choice vouchers for housing authorities at a rate of 20,000 units per year over five years.
Earlier this month, President Trump unveiled a budget proposal that guts federal programs that provide low-income families housing stability by eliminating two block grant programs in their entirety. Trump’s proposal also cuts the Public Housing Capital Fund, a $2 billion annual fund used to renovate or maintain the condition of public housing units. These proposed cuts would be detrimental to the livelihood of many residents of the Bronx who rely on public housing. This bill would not only help Bronxites and fellow New Yorkers, it would be beneficial to beneficiaries of public housing throughout the country.
Rep. José E. Serrano, said: “Congress has a responsibility to protect and allocate adequate levels of funding for the government’s housing programs to ensure that everyone, regardless of income, can live in safe, affordable housing. The Hardest Hit Housing Act will protect the public housing programs that our communities desperately need from this Administration’s reckless attempts to gut our governments’ most important social safety net programs. We need to address our nation’s housing crisis, and fight back against Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine these important programs. This legislation is an important step in doing just that.”
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, said: “We’re in the midst of the worst housing crisis in generations. Home prices and rents are hitting new all-time highs, pricing low and middle-income families out of the market. Donald Trump’s 2019 budget proposal includes the same draconian and unpopular cuts to affordable housing programs that failed in Congress last year. The federal government should be doing more, not less to relieve the housing crisis in America. Congress must pass the Hardest Hit Housing Act right away.”
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, said: “Homeownership is the gateway to wealth creation and for many individuals, renting a home is their first step toward saving for ownership. Federal spending on housing programs should be treated as investments because they provide opportunities for wealth creation especially in low and moderate income areas. Our bill is an investment in the future of those aspiring toward the American Dream.”
Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990. He is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee.