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Letter to Donald Trump - Shutdown Housing Crisis


By: Tammy Baldwin, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Tim Kaine, Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Jacky Rosen, Catherine Cortez Masto, Martin Heinrich, Tom Udall, Maggie Hassan, Jeanne Shaheen, Debbie Stabenow, Angus King, Jr., Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Ben Cardin, Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Chris Coons, Tom Carper, Richard Blumenthal, Michael Bennet, Kamala Harris, Dianne Feinstein, Doug Jones, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan, Denny Heck, Adam Smith, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Peter Welch, Jennifer Wexton, Don Beyer, Jr., Donald McEachin, Bobby Scott, Filemon Vela, Jr., Marc Veasey, Steve Cohen, David Cicilline, Conor Lamb, Susan Wild, Mary Scanlon, Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Kendra Horn, Anthony Gonzalez, Tim Ryan, Marcia Kaptur, Joyce Beatty, Joe Morelle, Paul Tonko, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sean Maloney, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Max Rose, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi, Steven Horsford, Ben Lujan, Jr., Deb Haaland, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Don Payne, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Jr., Albio Sires, Frank Pallone, Jr., Donald Norcross, Ann Kuster, Alma Adams, Bennie Thompson, Kilili Sablan, Emanuel Cleaver II, Lacy Clay, Jr., Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Angie Craig, Rashida Tlaib, Debbie Dingell, Andy Levin, Dan Kildee, Jared Golden, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, Anthony Brown, Andy Harris, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Ayanna Pressley, Katherine Clark, Joe Kennedy III, Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern, Clay Higgins, Cedric Richmond, John Yarmuth, André Carson, Cheri Bustos, Bill Foster, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Jesus Garcia, Robin Kelly, Tulsi Gabbard, David Scott, Hank Johnson, Jr., Sanford Bishop, Jr., Frederica Wilson, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Kathy Castor, Darren Soto, Al Lawson, Jr., Lisa Blunt Rochester, Eleanor Norton, Jahana Hayes, Jim Himes, Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, John Larson, Ed Perlmutter, Diana DeGette, Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, Alan Lowenthal, Lou Correa, Katie Porter, Nanette Barragán, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Gil Cisneros, Linda Sánchez, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Judy Chu, Katie Hill, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Mark DeSaulnier, Jerry McNerney, Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, Raul Grijalva, Tom O'Halleran, Mark Warner
Date: Jan. 17, 2019
Location: Washington, DC

Dear President Trump:

We write to express our deep concern regarding the harmful impacts the current government shutdown is having on the ability of Americans to afford their homes. This partial shutdown is undermining both the short-term operations and long-term viability of our affordable housing programs that serve over four million Americans, the majority of whom are seniors and people with disabilities living on a fixed income. For the sake of the families whose homes are at stake, we urge you to end the shutdown and protect the American people.

An immediate result of the shutdown is that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been forced to scramble to find funds to renew federal contracts for over 1,100 project-based rental assistance properties, housing tens of thousands of low-income renters, that have expired since the government shutdown began. Additional contracts will expire later in January and February, should the shutdown continue, as HUD does not have funding to renew contracts while the government is shut down. HUD proposes that private owners use their individual funding reserves, where available, to cover shortfalls. The longer the shutdown continues, the more untenable this guidance becomes.

Additionally, the shutdown will delay public housing authorities from receiving funding to help address pressing capital needs, such as fixing boilers and repairing leaking roofs. Funding is also dwindling for grants that support developmental projects and programs in local communities that depend on such funding to serve low-income families. Finally, the lapse in federal funding is curbing economic growth as more Americans are unable to purchase homes due to the Federal Housing Authority's (FHA) delay in processing loans.

The American people should not be used as leverage, or be held hostage, to fulfill a political agenda. The longer we extend the shutdown, the more harm will be done to seniors, families with children, people with disabilities, and other Americans who rely on these programs. We urge you to end this shutdown and provide immediate relief to Americans being impacted by this funding crisis. In these times of uncertainty and tension, we must continue to prioritize the American people. We owe it to the people we serve to choose their best interest over politics.