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Congress Cutting HUD Budget as Homelessness Grows

November 1, 2011

A New York Times editorial yesterday highlighted the importance of funding federal housing programs adequately, especially given the weak economy, high unemployment, and sharp recent increase in homelessness.

Unfortunately, Congress appears headed in the opposite direction.

The editorial states:

Congress Targeting Housing Assistance for Especially Deep Cuts

October 20, 2011

Operating within the 2011 Budget Control Act’s tight spending limits, Congress is making difficult decisions about which programs to cut in fiscal year 2012. House and Senate leaders drafting the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget have committed to preserving rental assistance for the low-income families now receiving it so that these families don’t lose their homes. Yet the House and Senate funding bills do not meet this important commitment, as I explain in a new report, and tens of thousands of families could lose assistance.

Improving the “Section 8” Rental Assistance Programs

July 20, 2011

The federal “Section 8” rental assistance programs — the Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based Rental Assistance programs — have long received strong bipartisan support in Congress, and studies by the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and others have found the voucher program in particular to be a cost-effective way to help low-income families afford decent-quality housing.

60 Minutes Exposes Growing Homelessness Among Children

March 7, 2011

CBS' "60 Minutes" last night aired a disturbing segment about the growing number of children who face homelessness due to the lingering effects of the recession -- an issue I touched on in a post last September. Unfortunately, Congress appears unlikely to respond adequately to the rising need for help.

Tens of Thousands Could Lose Housing Assistance Under Proposed Funding Cuts

November 30, 2010

Housing vouchers for tens of thousands — possibly close to half a million — low-income families could be eliminated under recent proposals to cut overall domestic funding.

Housing Affordability Problems Worsening for Poor Renters

September 9, 2010

Housing has become increasingly unaffordable for low-income renters since the start of the recession, according to fresh data from several sources:

Will the House Kill Funding for Homeless Vets?

July 29, 2010

UPDATE 7/29/10 7:56 p.m. (ET): This housing amendment has been withdrawn.

The 2011 transportation-housing appropriations bill that the House is now considering cuts $1.3 billion in funding that President Obama requested — and now four Democratic representatives (Peters of Michigan, Adler of New Jersey, Himes of Connecticut, and Welch of Vermont) plan to offer an amendment to make substantially deeper cuts, including $500 million in cuts to low-income housing programs.

A Program to Vouch For

April 29, 2010

As last week’s New York Times story on a new federal anti-homelessness program shows, the sharp recent rise in homelessness highlights the importance of helping low-income families afford decent housing. For years, one of our most effective tools has been the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which helps roughly 2 million low-income families — those at risk of homelessness as well as other families — cover the cost of renting modest units of their choice in the private market.