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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-225
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-068511 a.m. Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeJune 15, 1998


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said a new report issued today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities documents the need for additional affordable housing and for approval of housing and community development funding proposed by President Clinton.

"Unfortunately, there are a lot more $6-an-hour jobs than $6-an-hour apartments," Cuomo said. "Too many poor families are only spectators looking from a distance at the economic prosperity benefiting most Americans. These families are struggling desperately to avoid becoming homeless, and the federal government needs to create more affordable housing to meet their needs."

The report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the shortage of low-rent housing in the United States reached a record high in 1995, when the number of low-income renter households exceeded the number of low-cost rental units by 4.4 million. Congress has not funded new housing assistance vouchers for low-income families, the elderly and disabled since 1995.

Cuomo said the Center's report shows the increasing need for affordable housing that was documented by a HUD report issued in April. The HUD report said that despite America's booming economy, a record 5.3 million households with very low incomes - including growing numbers of working poor and suburban as well as urban families - have a desperate need for housing assistance. These families pay 50 percent or more of their income for rent but can't get housing subsidies because HUD does not have funds to provide the assistance. The HUD study was based on 1995 Census data.

President Clinton has requested funding for a series of initiatives in his proposed 1999 federal budget to increase the supply of affordable housing, including: $585 million for 103,000 new rental assistance vouchers, 50,000 of which would help welfare recipients get and keep jobs; $135 million for increased funding for homeless grants; $50 million for additional HOME program grants; $11 million for a new HOME bank to finance affordable housing; and a substantial expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to create as many as 180,000 units of new affordable rental housing over the next five years.

NOTE: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' news release is available from the group's website at www.cbpp.org

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