Rep. Waters Addresses Affordable Housing, Homelessness Crisis

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, executed a breakout session at the 2024 Democratic Issues Conference with the theme “Housing for All: Tackling the Affordable Housing and Homelessness Crisis.”

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, along with other prominent experts on housing and homelessness, participated in the breakout session.

Members of the panel talked about the range of housing issues facing the nation, legislative solutions to these issues, and ways that Members might collaborate with their local communities to improve the delivery of housing resources in order to boost supply and reduce costs.

Representatives Jim Himes (CT-04), Brad Sherman (CA-32), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), and Delia Ramirez (IL-03), among others, joined Ranking Member Waters at a press conference to continue this conversation.

They called on Congress to act quickly to pass Ranking Member Waters’ historic housing package, which would increase the number of available homes, improve affordability, end homelessness, and resurrect the American dream of homeownership.

Legislation Package Overview to Help Combat Homelessness and Housing Affordability:

  • The “Housing Crisis Response Act,” which represents the housing investments that were previously included in Build Back Better Act. This bill would invest more than $150 billion in fair and affordable housing investments to create nearly 1.4 million affordable and accessible homes, reduce housing costs for all, and help address stubborn core inflation.
  • The “Ending Homelessness Act,” which would end homelessness and significantly reduce poverty by transforming the Housing Choice Voucher program into a federal entitlement, so that every household who qualifies for assistance receives it.
  • The “Downpayment Toward Equity Act,” which would help revive the dream of homeownership for all by providing $100 billion in direct assistance to help first-time, first-generation homebuyers cover down payments, closing costs, and buydown mortgage interest rates.

Ranking Member Waters also introduced a new project during her opening remarks, working with local leaders and Democratic Members of the House to reduce development costs and other local barriers to fair and affordable housing.

To read the full release, including additional information, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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