Issue Position: Housing & Community Development
Over 34,000 families in Connecticut, and over 2.1 million families nationwide, are housed successfully by the Section 8 program each year. For these families, the program offers the stability and flexibility necessary to remain in safe, decent, affordable housing. The Section 8 program provides low income families with vouchers that cover any rental costs over 30 percent of their income. In the Hartford region's tight rental market, the assistance that this program offers is critical.
I have continually supported measures to ensure that Connecticut housing authorities have the resources they need to help families make the transition from homelessness to homeownership. In April 2004, I joined my colleagues in the CT Delegation in opposing a proposed change in policy that would have allowed the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department to fund this year's vouchers at last years levels. In addition, I fought proposed funding cuts to the program that would have cut over 4,000 vouchers in CT in 2005 alone, and over 13,000 in the next five years. Section 8, and other programs aimed at promoting affordable housing and reducing poverty, are routinely targeted for funding cuts, and I will continue to work to ensure that these vitals programs receive the support necessary to help the Connecticut families who need it most.
Information from the Library of Congress
* The Department of Housing and Urban Development: FY2005 Budget
* Housing Issues in the 108th Congress
* An Overview of the Section 8 Housing Program
* The Housing Choice Voucher Program: Background, Funding, and Issues in the 108th Congress
National Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Our nation faces a shortage in safe and affordable housing which forces families and individuals with the lowest incomes - such as low income workers, seniors on fixed incomes, and people with disabilities - to either live on the street, live in unsafe housing units or live in housing they can only afford by using money set aside for groceries, child care, or medicine to pay the rent. In the past 2 years, the average per hour wage that a family must earn to afford a safe two bedroom apartment at fair market rent has risen to about 15 nationwide and $18 in Connecticut.
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 1102, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2003, which would create a national housing trust fund by redirecting a small portion of the profits earned every year by the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance fund to the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund would be used to build, rehabilitate and preserve 1.5 million affordable housing units. Unfortunately, despite the importance of this bill, it has yet to have a hearing or a vote. Earlier this year, I joined 180 trust fund supporters in the House in signing a discharge petition (108-11) that would force the bill out of committee and onto the floor for a vote; however, it needs 270 signatures to pass.