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Mr. McNERNEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment by my colleague from Florida (Ms. Castor), and I want to thank Ms. Castor for working on this amendment.
The housing crisis has hit countless districts across the country--Florida, California, and other States--but especially including my own district.
I represent some of the hardest hit areas in the United States of America, including the San Joaquin Valley. Although the housing sector has improved in recent months, there is still much work to be done. We must ensure hardworking individuals and families have the best information possible when making important life decisions, and HUD field offices and officers play a critical role in this process.
Whether it's through foreclosure assistance or for first-time homebuyers, HUD help is needed. Unfortunately, HUD wants to close various offices throughout the country. We must focus on providing HUD with the appropriate resources to adequately assist areas like the San Joaquin Valley that have been disproportionately affected by the housing crisis. Reducing access to services is not the answer.
Mr. Chairman, we've held countless foreclosure summits and workshops in our district. I've seen individuals in front of me that are losing their homes--young men, young women--tears in their eyes. They're getting excellent information from the HUD service officers, and to take that resource away from these individuals is a travesty. This commonsense amendment by my colleague from Florida aims to address this issue by removing 25 percent from HUD's executive account and moving it toward the field offices and policy management account. I know that the people in my district need and deserve these services. Ensuring HUD has the funding to keep offices open is a step in the right direction.
I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
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