Following a House Appropriations subcommittee’s approval of a measure to fund the nation’s housing programs, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, blasted Republicans for undercutting important housing programs that protect our most vulnerable populations.
The legislation, known as the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill, slashes or provides insufficient funding for a number of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) public and assisted housing programs. In addition, it halts funding for the Housing Trust Fund, a permanent federal fund that focuses on providing support to states to build, preserve and ultimately increase the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families, including homeless families. The legislation diverts funding for the Trust Fund to another program within HUD that is not as focused on those at extremely low-incomes.
Waters released the following statement:
“A budget is reflective of a party’s priorities. I am disgusted with the Republican measure approved by the Appropriations subcommittee today, which makes clear that federal programs that help families, seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities have no place on the Republican agenda.
While this bill contains many harmful provisions, most egregious among them is the decision to rescind funding to the Housing Trust Fund, which allocates a tiny percentage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for millions of American households where there is the greatest need. Ending this funding source will negatively impact the lives of millions of extremely low-income Americans, particularly as Republicans seek to divert this money to another program that does not focus specifically on this vulnerable population.
This measure also continues the Republican attack on our public and assisted housing programs. Funding for the public housing program in this bill is at an historic low, risking the long-term viability of our public housing stock and diminishing the quality of life for countless public housing residents.
We should not be attempting to rein in this country’s spending problems on the backs of millions of vulnerable Americans across the country. The answer to our nation’s fiscal problems is not to slash our country’s social safety net programs and harm those who need our support the most. Supporting programs that get individuals and families off the street and into safe and decent housing is not only the right thing to do, but it saves real taxpayer dollars in the long run.”