While the bill has potential to help those with substance-use disorders, it does not add any additional money to current funding levels.
Instead, it would divert 10,000 vouchers, or $83 million, away from the Housing Choice Voucher program.
The bill will ultimately make affordable housing waiting lists for low income families, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and people recovering from substance-use much longer.
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters(D-CA-43) spoke against the bill during the debate on the House floor. She complimented Barr for his efforts to help people suffering from substance-use disorders but, explained how first, more resources are needed.
Waters claimed, “You cannot do this on the cheap. You cannot do this without understanding that rehabilitation costs money. So, while I absolutely applaud the attempt, I want to share with you that [we would be] taking 10,000 vouchers from those who have been waiting in line for years—I am talking about single-family parents with their children who simply are praying and hoping that they can get a voucher so that they can get a decent place to live.”
Lawmakers also approved four amendments. One amendment added by Barr clarifies selection requirements. U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48) suggested an amendment requiring local governments to authorize which service providers can participate in the demonstration program.
Finally, Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5) proposed an amendment to remove the requirement to include recommendations for further continuation and expansion of the voucher program in a report to Congress.
If you are passionate about providing affordable housing in New Jersey, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey Residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Oportunity Starts at Home.
We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is solvable a problem. The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.
Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.
Would you be interested in telling your story of the impact of homelessness on your life to your elected officials at the Congressional Reception on July 25? Please contact Kate Kelly at Monarch Housing.