MALONEY SPEAKS OUT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED TO FUND SUCCESSFUL HUD PROGRAMS THAT HELP NYC
WASHINGTON D.C.: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) recently spoke on the House Floor in support of a Federal housing program for people with AIDS and to fight against an appropriations bill (HR4635) that would cut funds for crucial Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs . The following are excerpts from the Congresswoman's remarks:
"Every year the majority party underfunds affordable housing . The bill [VA-HUD Appropriations Act] cuts public housing funds $120 million compared to last year's level. This bill is especially hard on New York City and New York State. In New York City, the housing authority reports that there are over 131,000 families waiting for public housing. There are over 216,000 waiting for Section 8. These two lists combined is over 303,000 people who are waiting for low-income affordable housing in New York City alone, and this bill does them a great disservice. The turnover rate in housing in New York is minuscule, 3.8% for public housing and less than 5% for Section 8. The only way to help needy people across the country find homes is to provide new vouchers and fair funding for public housing.
"We also have a huge problem in New York with expiring Section 8 contracts. In my district this is affecting thousands of people. In recent years I have been successful in working with HUD to preserve some of this housing through the mark-up to market programs. Thanks to HUD funding, thousands of people living in Renwick Gardens and 209 East 36th Street complexes in my district retained their Section 8 housing. Today my biggest concern is the Marine Terrace complex in Queens, where again Section 8 contracts have run out for thousands of families and thousands of families may lose their homes. Mr. Chairman, we keep hearing about compassionate conservativism in the press, but there is no compassion in this bill. Programs under VA-HUD benefit some of our Nation's most needy citizens, and this bill does them wrong.
"In fact, this bill funds homeless prevention programs at a level 21% lower in real terms than 6 years ago. Elderly housing is funded 53% lower than 6 years ago, public housing is 27% less than 6 years ago, and home ownership counseling is funded 70% less than 6 years ago. Mr. Chairman, the people who benefit from these programs do not have high-paying lobbyists representing them. They are simply needy Americans who need housing assistance.
"I also rise in strong support to increase HOPWA funding by $18 million to $250 million. HOPWA allows communities to design local-based, cost-effective housing programs for people living with AIDS. The people who benefit from the HOPWA program are some of our nations most needy. Mr. Chairman, I eagerly look forward to the day when medical breakthroughs render the HOPWA program unnecessary. However, today in the present I call on my colleagues to help people living with AIDS through this modest increase in support."