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CUOMO URGES CONGRESS TO PASS HISTORIC HOUSING REFORM LEGISLATION TO SAVE TAXPAYERS MILLIONS AND PRESERVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING INTO THE NEXT CENTURYWASHINGTON -- Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today urged Congress to support legislation to end excessive HUD rental subsidies to private landlords, while preserving affordable housing for 850,000 low-income Americans.
The housing legislation, known as Housing 2020: Management Reform, will save taxpayers $562 million this fiscal year -- plus hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the future -- on HUD's Section 8 rental subsidy program, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
"Eight months ago I stood before Congress and said there was no greater housing need facing America than solving the Section 8 crisis," Cuomo said. "We've come 99 yards on a bill that will save taxpayers millions of dollars and protect affordable housing well into the next century. The clock is ticking. I urge Congress to push the ball over the goal line and finish the job."
"This legislation ends the waste of taxpayer dollars on ridiculously high subsidies, while allowing landlords to make a fair profit for housing some of the poorest Americans," Cuomo said. "Congress now has the chance to pass the most significant housing reform legislation since President Clinton took office."
The savings under the bill will occur by lowering HUD rental subsidies on project-based Section 8 apartments to the same level as rents in the private market. HUD subsidies to landlords housing 850,000 poor people now often far exceed market rents -- sometimes bringing the landlords rents more than double what they could get on the private market.
The bill allows landlords to restructure their debt in exchange for the lowering of rental subsidies -- avoiding landlord defaults and allowing the subsidized apartments to continue providing affordable housing.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009