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Waters Supports Bipartisan Bill to Increase Housing Opportunities for Low-Income Families

Washington, D.C, March 12, 2019
Tags: HUD

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave the following floor statement on H.R. 1122, the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act, bipartisan legislation to help improve services and flexibility for Americans who are receiving housing assistance.

As Prepared for Delivery

Mr. Speaker, rigorous studies have demonstrated that giving a low-income family the opportunity to move to a lower poverty neighborhood can have a profound impact, particularly for young children.

For example, one study found that young boys and girls in families that used a voucher to move to lower poverty neighborhoods were 32 percent more likely to attend college and earned 31 percent more (or nearly $3,500 a year) compared to their counterparts in families that did not receive a voucher.

Unfortunately, families with Housing Choice Vouchers that want to move to a better neighborhood can face significant challenges, particularly if it involves moving from one public housing agency jurisdiction to another. In fact, data shows that only one in eight families with children with a Housing Choice Voucher use their vouchers to live in low-poverty areas.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1122 would help reduce barriers to mobility by establishing a demonstration program that would enable and incentivize public housing agencies to come together to come up with a regional plan to increase mobility across their jurisdictions.

This is a bipartisan proposal that was included in HUD budget requests under the Obama Administration. Further, $25 million in funding for this demonstration was included in FY 2019 funding bill for HUD programs, and a version of this bill passed the House last Congress 368 to 19. This demonstration will not only provide thousands of families with opportunities to move to better neighborhoods, but it will also lay the foundation for how successful outcomes can be replicated at a larger scale across the country.

I want to congratulate the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Cleaver and the gentleman from Wisconsin, Mr. Duffy, for introducing this initiative.

I urge all Members to vote “Yes” on H.R. 1122.

H.R. 1122 was introduced by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI), Members of the House Financial Services Committee. The bill passed by a vote of 387-22.


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