FLINT, Michigan (WJRT) – (11/28/2021) – Congressman Dan Kildee announces new efforts in Congress, helping Michigan families make informed decisions about housing and homeownership.
In a letter, Kildee and 36 other members of Congress urge Congress to fully fund the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing counseling assistance program for the coming fiscal year.
The Housing Counseling Assistance Program provides federal funding to local organizations to provide free or low-cost housing and financial counseling to landlords, tenants, homebuyers, and homeless people.
More than 40,000 Michigan residents received housing assistance from July to September 2021. According to research, families who work with a housing counselor are more likely to stay on top of their mortgage payments, avoid foreclosure, maintain higher credit scores and increase their savings account balances.
The letter reads in part: “The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected many tenants and landlords, jeopardizing the housing security of millions of working families. Housing counselors have played an important role in providing tenants and landlords with financial, budgetary and money management advice that has helped workers obtain affordable housing, modify loans on more favorable terms and find alternatives to deportation and seizure.
The United States House of Representatives approved Congressman Kildee’s $ 100 million request for the program in July 2021, but the United States Senate offered to fund the program for a lower amount.
Here is the full text of the letter:
Dear President DeLauro, Ranking Member Granger, Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart:
As you finalize the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, we urge you to support the Advisory Assistance Program in housing matters from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to the appropriate home. Funding level of $ 100 million.
This essential program supports high-quality, independent, non-profit housing counselors who work directly with consumers to help them resolve housing issues brought on by the pandemic and empower families to make informed financial decisions about home ownership. ownership and rental.
We are concerned that the THUD Senate Appropriation Bill for FY2022 only allocates $ 57.5 million for the Housing Assistance Program, which is stable from the levels of current funding. Given the challenges consumers face and a demand for housing advice that far exceeds current resources, this level is insufficient to leverage the program and support the millions of families who depend on its services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected many tenants and landlords, jeopardizing the housing security of millions of working families. Housing counselors have played an important role in providing tenants and landlords with financial, budgetary and money management advice that has helped workers obtain affordable housing, modify loans on more favorable terms and find alternatives to deportation and seizure.
Years of research show that clients who work with housing counselors fare significantly better than similar clients who do not receive counseling. Consumers who work with a housing counselor are more likely to keep track of their mortgage payments, avoid foreclosures, improve their credit rating and increase their family’s savings.
Housing counseling agencies are also well positioned to address housing equity challenges, such as the growing ownership gap between white and black families. According to the Urban Institute, the gap between white and black homeowners is greater today than before the signing of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Housing counselors can play a role in reducing this gap by helping families find affordable housing, buy their first home, and find alternatives to eviction and foreclosure. Pre-purchase advice, in particular, allows families to improve their credit scores, increase their savings, and explore mortgage options, helping families achieve their share of the American Dream.
HUD’s Housing Counseling Assistance Program is one of the most effective and cost-effective solutions the federal government uses to help landlords and tenants. It is crucial that we strengthen this agenda as we recover from the pandemic and rebuild our economy.
We urge you to prioritize funding for HUD Housing Counseling Assistance by including $ 100 million for this vital program. Thank you for considering this request. The millions of families who benefit from housing advice hope that they can count on your support in this important work.
Representative Daniel T. Kildee
Representative Jake Auchincloss (MA-04)
Representative Cindy Axne (IA-03)
Representative Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44)
Representative Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08)
Representative Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Representative Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Representative Andre Carson (IN-07)
Representative Judy Chu (CA-27)
Representative Angie Craig (MN-02)
Representative Madeleine Dean (PA-04)
Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
Representative Dwight Evans (PA-03)
Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04)
Representative Ruben Gallego (AZ-07)
Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-05)
Representative Steven Horsford (NV-04)
Representative Sarah Jacobs (CA-53)
Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17)
Representative John B. Larson (CT-01)
Representative Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08)
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12)
Representative James P. McGovern (MA-02)
Congressman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large)
Representative Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Representative Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)
Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08)
Representative Bobby L. Rush (IL-01)
Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Representative Darren Soto (FL-09)
Representative Tom Suozzi (NY-03)
Representative Mark Takano (CA-41)
Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-13)
Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15)
Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07)
Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05)