HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-4
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeJanuary 6, 2000



WASHINGTON - Some of the lowest income families in every state will get desperately needed housing if President Clinton's proposal to provide 120,000 affordable housing units is approved by Congress, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said today.

The President announced recently that his proposed Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2001 will include $690 million for housing vouchers that will provide new rental assistance to help 120,000 of America's most hard-pressed families move into rental housing.

Cuomo today released a breakdown showing approximately how the new affordable housing units would be distributed in local communities around the nation if the President's proposal wins Congressional approval.

"This is the largest request for new affordable housing in a decade," Cuomo said. "It shows the President's strong commitment to increasing the supply of affordable housing, at a time when the booming economy is driving up housing prices across the country."

By subsidizing the rents of low-income people using vouchers, the new assistance would make housing currently unavailable to these families more affordable, and would enable families to move closer to jobs and other opportunities. People moving from welfare to work, homeless people and others unable to afford decent housing would benefit from the new assistance.

In today's booming economy, about two-thirds of new jobs are being created in the suburbs, while many low-income families live in urban areas. The new assistance would reduce the long commute these Americans endure daily and would secure more stable housing that would help them get or keep a job.

Families receiving HUD rental assistance vouchers generally pay 30 percent of their income for rent, with HUD subsidies picking up the remainder of their rent. About 1.4 million families currently receive vouchers under HUD's tenant-based Section 8 rental assistance program.

Housing vouchers are an integral part of the Administration's efforts to reform welfare, reward work, support working families, and provide affordable housing for low-income families.

Even if the 120,000 new affordable housing units win Congressional approval, there would still be more than 1 million families on waiting lists for HUD-subsidized housing across the nation, along with additional families still in desperate need of affordable housing.

In response to Clinton Administration proposals, Congress approved $283 million for 50,000 new affordable housing units for Fiscal Year 1999, after four consecutive years of refusing to approve any new affordable housing vouchers. For Fiscal Year 2000, HUD and the Administration won approval for an additional $347 million for 60,000 new affordable housing units.

The following chart illustrates the history of presidential requests to Congress for new affordable housing units and the response by Congress to those requests in each year's final Federal Budget:

FY 1995 FY 1996 FY 1997 FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001
President Requested 70,000 50,000 30,000 50,000 100,000 100,000 120,000
Congress Approved 0 0 0 0 50,000 60,000 TBD


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