Reno, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today toured the Volunteers of America Reno Community Center, and met with community leaders and Nevadans experiencing homelessness. Cortez Masto expressed her commitment to expand the supply of affordable housing in order to end homelessness for families, youth, people with disabilities, veterans, survivors of domestic abuse and the elderly. She applauded the organization for its commitment to provide stability and security to Nevadans unable to find a place to call home. While recognizing the deep commitment of volunteers and donors, she noted the dire need for more federal resources such as the Community Development Block Grant, HOME and Housing Trust Fund.
“I want to thank the volunteers and leaders of Volunteers of America here in Reno for devoting their time to helping Nevadans in need,” said Cortez Masto. “For too many Nevadans, the rent is just too high. The gap between wages and rents is too big. Too many people struggle to pay the rent and buy groceries, buy medicine and support their children. When people cannot find homes they can afford, the whole economy suffers – workers live far from their jobs, a broken car or health emergency can lead to eviction, young adults cannot afford to live on their own, and young families cannot save for a downpayment in order to buy a home of their own. In contrast, the evidence is clear; when people have safe and stable housing in neighborhoods with good jobs and good schools, they have better health, they can hold a job and their kids do better in school.”
The federal government invests three times more supporting homeownership than helping low-income renters. Senator Cortez Masto is working to increase federal investment in affordable housing. Last year, she unveiled a report on the role of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs in Nevada. The report collects stories from CDBG-grantees and stakeholders in the Silver State, who each describe how they use the program to support communities and spur private investment. The report concludes that CDBG is vitally important for urban, suburban, and rural Nevada communities, and that the program is utilized by a variety of stakeholders – from nonprofits to faith-based organizations.