Cortez Masto: Spending Agreement Will Help Ease Affordable Housing Crisis in Nevada
Reno, Nev. - U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement highlighting the omnibus spending agreement priorities on affordable housing that she fought for and secured for the people of Nevada:
“This spending agreement rejects the Trump Administration’s proposal to eviscerate federal support to help low-income elderly, people with disabilities, veterans and families afford their rent. The appropriations bill restores funds to proven affordable housing programs that can help some of the nearly 80,000 low-income families in Nevada who pay more than half their income for rent. With only 15 affordable homes for every 100 extremely low-income families, Nevada has the lowest supply of affordable homes of any state in the nation. Rents have risen much higher than wages resulting in people being pushed out of their homes and onto the streets.
“The spending plan preserves or increases funding to provide affordable homes to veterans, adults, children and youth struggling with homelessness. It also provides assistance to veterans, people with disabilities, people living with AIDS and low-income elderly. This bill ensures that more than five million families currently receiving housing assistance through HUD and USDA –including more than 24,000 Nevadans -- will continue to receive housing assistance. If Trump’s budget request had become law, 1,740 Nevada families would have lost their housing benefits and thousands more on waiting lists would not be able to receive any help.
“When Nevadans have a safe and secure place to live, their health is better, they are more likely to hold down a job and their children do better in school, which is why expanding the supply of affordable homes is one of my top priorities. I will continue to fight for federal resources to help families struggling to keep a roof over their heads in the current high-cost housing market.”
The legislation passed last week in the Senate:
- Increases the number of homes for low-income people so they do not have to pay more than 1/3 of their income by expanding the Low Income Housing Tax credit by 12.5 percent, and funding the Community Development Block Grant program at $3.3 billion – an increase of $305 million, and the HOME program at $1.3 billion – an increase of $412 million – in opposition to President Trump’s request to defund these successful programs.
- Rejected the President’s request to cut proven housing and community development programs by providing $655 million to Native American Housing Block Grants, $230 million for Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities, $2.3 billion for homeless assistance grants, and $33 billion for rental assistance.
- Expands the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.
- Ensures that Nevada will receive $3 million from the National Housing Trust Fund to build new homes for families earning less than $24,000/year overruling the Trump request to eliminate the National Housing Trust Fund – an investment paid for by a tax on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits.
- Adjudicates $42.7 billion for the Department of Housing and Development, an increase of $3.9 billion, or 10%. The bill provides HUD programs with $4.7 billion in additional funding overall compared to FY17, or more than $12 billion above the president’s FY18 request.
- Preserves rural housing programs, nearly all of which were proposed for elimination in the Trump budget request.
- Provides level funding for the Fair Housing Program.
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