As our nation recovers from the 2008 economic crisis, a necessary step in continuing to improve our economy is shoring up our housing markets. This means expanding opportunities that allow for more Americans to afford homes, while also preventing a reversal to the predatory home mortgage policies of the past. We need to increase investments in Section 8 housing programs and Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers. These types of housing voucher programs have proven to be highly successful in assisting low-income families, the elderly, and homeless veterans find their own housing.
As families continue to recover from the recession and homeowners looking for employment cease to receive emergency unemployment benefits, many individuals and families could see paychecks dwindle and housing situations become jeopardized. We should ensure homeowners have adequate protections and do not lose the home equity they have built over many years. I will work towards a balance between limiting predatory or irresponsible lending, while encouraging lenders to continue to make loans that are fair and free of hidden fees and excessively high interest rates.
It is also essential that we tackle the growing problem of housing insecurity and homelessness in the Ninth District. Housing and community development are key to citizens' quality of life. We can also keep interest rates low by reducing the federal debt and improve public housing programs to help families find affordable housing.
As our country faces a national homelessness crisis, it is imperative that Congress continue to advocate for comprehensive and long-term solutions to reverse this growing epidemic. With local homeless systems operating at maximum capacity and shelters already strained, persistent economic difficulties and rising addiction trends are leading to more people being left on the streets. Providing support and adequate funding for assistance programs must remain a priority for Congress in order to ensure that all individuals and families who are facing homelessness will have a place to call home. Detailed below are programs and legislation I have supported in order to combat the homelessness crisis.
Promoting Quality, Affordable Housing & Combatting Homelessness in our Community
Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
Opening Doors is a comprehensive strategy designed by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. The plan is meant to quickly identify and engage those at risk of homelessness, while intervening to prevent them from losing their homes. The plan provides people with immediate access to shelter and crisis services should they lose their homes. I have signed on to support its continued funding in FY 2018 which includes:
- Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program
- Health Care for the Homeless Program
- Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) Program
- Grants for the Benefit of Homeless individuals (GBHI)
- Services in Supportive Housing (SSH) Grants
- The Homeless Veterans’ Program
- Transitional Housing Assistance Grants for the Victims of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking Program
Combatting Veteran Homelessness: Supports for the HUD-VASH Program: I support the HUD-VASH Program and supported increased funding from FY 17. I recognize that the causes of homelessness, especially for veterans are numerous and complex. That is why in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, I included an amendment to make it easier for veterans to request discharge upgrades without having to travel to Washington, D.C. to speak with a board. This simple change should increase access to VA benefits like mental health care and housing programs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress
Forging Partnerships: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Programs and the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act: The McKinney-Vento grant programs and the HEARTH Act, provides assistance to identify and fund housing needs and coordinate the federal response to homelessness, while providing resources during emergency situations. I have co-signed a letter in support of full funding of McKinney-Vento Grants and implementation of HEARTH Act.
Treat the Opioid Crisis – The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA): I co-sponsored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2015 because this approach is needed to address the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic which has a profound effect on homelessness. This legislation would implement better prescription drug monitoring, improved law enforcement tactics, and expanded treatment for addicts.
Keep Tenants in their Homes – Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2017: Co-sponsor of this bill which requires that landlords provide at least 90 days’ notice of any possible eviction to responsible tenants that have made their payments but are being kicked out of their homes due to the landlord being unable to make their payments.
End the Abuse of Our Homeless Youth – The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act: Our homeless youth population is among the most vulnerable to sexual exploitation or abuse. In order to help strengthen child protection services and provide relief, the act provides street outreach, education, counseling, temporary shelter as well as transitional longer-term housing. I strongly support reauthorization of this program.
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More on Housing
“I could have supported most, if not all, of the funding in this bill but for the fact that just two months ago, we cut taxes by $2 trillion dollars. This legislation is like quitting your job and only then deciding that you want to buy a new house and a second car. I am supportive of spending the money necessary to meet our country’s needs. I am not in favor of continuing to borrow it; I want to raise the revenue necessary.
Congressman Adam Smith Delivers Weekly Democratic Address
“As Republicans in Congress continue to push their reckless tax cuts, they put at risk crucial agencies and programs, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), military pensions, and Medicare. In addition to massively benefiting the wealthy and corporations, as well as reducing revenue by more than a trillion dollars, the tax bill endangers important mandatory spending priorities on which middle class and working Americans rely.
“Our country’s federal government is already massively in debt and cannot sustain the tax cut President Trump and the Republicans are proposing. It is both bad economic and fiscal policy to be debating a $1.5 trillion tax bill at a time when we are already $20 trillion in debt and running deficits of nearly $700 billion. With deficits already projected to rise for the foreseeable future, this bill will have devastating impacts on our national debt and the priorities that the constituents of my district have made clear they support.
“Today’s budget vote is the height of irresponsibility. The resolution passed today is not a legitimate budget. It is the vehicle for reckless tax cuts that will drive up the deficit and overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans. Tax cuts for the rich will do little to stimulate our economy or help the middle class. Since 2001, the Bush tax cuts have cost us trillions in lost revenue, and produced virtually no economic growth. Another tax cut now will only further jeopardize our economic and national security.
Congressman Adam Smith
Invites you to attend his upcoming Grants Workshop
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
8:30am– 12:00 pm
The Ethiopian Community In Seattle (ECS)
8323 Rainier Ave. S.,
Seattle, WA 98118
Don’t miss this FREE opportunity to learn best practices when applying for federal grants.
Join Congressman Adam Smith for a Town Hall Meeting
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents to hear their concerns, answer questions and discuss issues facing Congress.
Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Newport High School
4333 Factoria Blvd SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Space is limited so please RSVP if you are able to attend.
“The “Security Minibus” appropriations bill the House is currently debating is completely disconnected from the realities that our country faces and the spending choices we must make. This spending package includes funding for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, agencies of the Department of Interior, and several independent agencies.
“Our current tax code is overly-complex; there is no question it needs reexamination and overhaul. The tax proposal released today by President Trump would be disastrous. Its almost singular focus on cutting taxes for wealthy people and companies will harm working people and undermine a healthy economy.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a mistake and would throw away the meaningful progress we have made towards increasing the quality and accessibility of affordable health care. There is undoubtedly much work still to be done to improve our nation’s health care system but I strongly disagree with Republicans’ continued efforts to repeal the law, and their attempt to eliminate essential health benefits for Americans and their families.