WASHINGTON- On July, 16, 2013, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) introduced H.R. 2695, the “American Public Housing Act of 2013,” which will exempt federal public housing funding from any future budget cuts or additional potential rounds of sequestration.
“Public housing programs are an essential need for many hard-working Americans who struggle to find affordable housing,” said Rep. Jeffries. “We can and should achieve the immediate goal of repairing the economy without abandoning our commitment to ensuring our fellow citizens have roofs over their heads,” said Rep. Jeffries.
The legislation would amend the “Balanced Budget an Emergency Deceit Control Act of 1985,” to add the following housing programs to a current list of federal programs that are exempt from reduced funding under any future sequestration orders: Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Fund Program Account, Native American Housing Block Grants, Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant, Project-Based Rental Assistance, Public Housing Capital Fund, Public Housing Operating Fund and Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.
Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the country are currently operating under tight budgets due to reduced federal funding and steep cuts under sequestration. PHA’s have been forced to reduce payments on Section 8 vouchers, lay off employees and reduce overtime, close senior and community centers and make cuts to vital capital investments.
“Some attempts to mitigate short-term impacts of these devastating cuts to public housing funding have been primarily funded through increased aid from local and state governments,” said Rep. Jeffries. “These efforts cannot serve as an adequate replacement for lost federal funding and often come at the expense of future budgets. This is not a viable alternative.”
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