Rep. Cuellar Adds Language in Transportation-HUD Funding Bill to Enforce Public Housing Income Requirements
Directs HUD, public housing authorities to enforce eligibility income limits to help those who are most in need
Today Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) announced the inclusion of language in the Fiscal Year 2017 U.S. House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill that encourages the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and local public housing authorities to reduce the number of residents who exceed the maximum income requirements (“over-income residents”) in order to provide housing assistance to vulnerable persons and families who are most in need. The bill passed out of the full U.S. House Appropriations Committee Tuesday.
The language also directs HUD to provide the Appropriations Committee with a report identifying measures that it is taking to address over-income tenants 180 days after enactment.
A 2015 HUD Inspector General report found that more than 25,000 families in government-subsidized housing across the country earned more than the maximum amount allowed. Forty-seven percent of those families earned more than $10,000 more than allowed.
In keeping with the congressman’s push for affordable housing, he also successfully included language in the Fiscal Year 2017 House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill to support homeless veterans with government-subsidized housing via the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program (HUD-VASH). The bill passed the full House last week.
Within the Fiscal Year 2017 THUD funding bill, Congressman Cuellar helped secure $2.5 billion for grants for homeless assistance, an increase of $237 million over current levels. The funding will not only renew high-performing housing programs, but bring us closer to ending homelessness.
In February of this year, the House unanimously approved the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (H.R. 3700), a bipartisan bill making targeted reforms to federal housing programs, including rental assistance provisions that would deliver important benefits to low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.
“Many of our families in my district and across the country are in need of housing assistance,” Congressman Cuellar said. “Many times, the demand is greater than what can be supplied. That is why it is important for HUD and local public housing authorities to enforce income eligibility limits so that self-sufficient families can transition to non-subsidized affordable housing while HUD and local public housing authorities take care of those who are most in need.
“As the representative for one of the poorest areas in the country, I understand the need for affordable housing for families and individuals in my district, which is why I introduced this language to encourage HUD to find solutions to this issue. It is my hope that HUD and local public housing authorities will work together to make sure we are providing the most care to the most needy in our communities. I thank THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) and Ranking Member David Price (D-NC-4), as well as Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY-5) and Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) for their help in adding this language.”
To see the language the congressman included, please click here.