Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) last night secured a major funding package for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, a key component of the country’s affordable housing system. Congressman Nadler offered an amendment to the appropriations bill funding the Department of Housing and Urban Development to increase funding for the Section 8 program by $100 million. The amendment passed by a margin of 225-194, with 30 Republicans voting in support.
Congressional appropriators had funded Section 8 at $314 million less than the President’s request. The Nadler amendment, cosponsored by Congressmembers Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Barney Frank (D-MA), restored $100 million of that shortfall at a time of growing need for the program.
“Every American deserves to live in safe, decent, affordable housing, and the Section 8 program is absolutely vital to that goal,” Congressman Nadler said. “This amendment restores $100 million to the program – enough to keep approximately 15,000 Section 8 clients in the program. That’s a substantive impact.”
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is the nation’s most successful federal rental program. It provides vouchers that allow families the flexibility to receive government subsidized rental housing in the private market. However, federal funding of Section 8 vouchers has been in steep decline. In FY 2001, Congress appropriated money for 79,000 new vouchers. In FY 2002, the number of new vouchers dropped to 18,000. In FY2003, FY2004, and FY2005 Congress did not fund any new vouchers.
“My amendment is part of an ongoing struggle to restore adequate funding to the program,” Nadler said. “The funding we approved today is an important gain in the effort to keep Section 8 families from getting thrown into the street.”
The passage of Congressman Nadler’s Section 8 amendment was one of two major housing victories last night; Nadler also passed an amendment to restore critical funding to HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.
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