Providing Safe and Affordable Housing
On Monday morning, I had the privilege of joining Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) in a joint press conference in Jefferson City to discuss our bipartisan housing legislation that was recently signed into law by President Obama. This law, H.R. 3700 and Public Law No. 114-201, will reform housing policies in America for the first time in decades. This bipartisan effort has been a long time coming. H.R. 3700 represents the first time in more than 27 years that a bill has unanimously passed both houses of Congress under regular order, and not suspension of the rules.
H.R. 3700, The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, passed unanimously in the House on February 2 of this year, passed the Senate on July 14, and was signed by President Barack Obama on July 29. It represents the most significant changes to programs and processes in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service in a quarter of a century.
H.R. 3700 bill will:
- Streamline the inspection and income review process for families living in Section 8 units.
- Increase aid to former foster care children receiving housing assistance through the Family Unification Program by extending the age of eligibility from 21 years to 24 and by increasing the time of assistance to 36 months.
- Improve condo ownership opportunities through improvements to the FHA mortgage insurance program.
- Increase access to rural housing loans for low and moderate income households to purchase, build, or rehab homes.
- Support our veterans through the appointment of a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This photo of the house I grew up in hangs in my Washington, D.C. office
HOTMA is an example of successful bipartisan efforts. As someone who grew up in public housing, I know personally the importance of having a safe, affordable home. I want to thank Congressman Luetkemeyer, Senator Menendez, and Senator Blunt for their efforts. By working together we were able to pass one of the largest sweeping reforms of our nation's housing programs in the last two decades, providing safe and affordable housing for all Americans.
Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress