Ask Representatives to Sign Letter Supporting Section 202 Funding

Legislation | April 09, 2021 | by Linda Couch

House Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is circulating a sign-on letter to her House colleagues in support of strong rental assistance funding levels for several HUD programs, including $600 million for new Section 202 Housing for the Elderly homes and full renewal funding for Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. Once the signatures have been gathered, the letter will be sent to House majority and minority appropriators. Representatives have until April 21 to sign the letter.

House Committee on Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is circulating a sign-on letter to her House colleagues in support of strong rental assistance funding levels for several HUD programs, including Section 202 Housing for the Elderly and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. Once the signatures have been gathered, the letter will be sent to House majority and minority appropriators. Representatives have until April 21 to sign the letter.

Such letters, known as “Dear Colleague” letters, are an important part of the early stages of the development of the next fiscal year’s HUD appropriations bill and send a clear signal to appropriators of the funding level wishes of non-appropriator members of Congress. A somewhat similar letter will begin circulating soon in the Senate and will ultimately be delivered to Senate majority and minority appropriators.

Chairwoman Waters’ letter urges appropriators to fully fund Section 8 PBRA renewals and to provide $600 million for new Section 202 homes in FY22. This request mirrors LeadingAge’s ask for $600 million for new Section 202 homes in FY22.

Referring to needed funding for the Section 202 and Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, the letter says, “The nation's existing housing stock is unprepared to meet the escalating need for affordability, accessibility, social connectivity, and supportive services that these populations require. According to a 2019 report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the number of cost-burdened senior households grew to a new high of nearly 10 million in 2017, an increase of 200,000 households from the year before. About half of these households are severely cost burdened, meaning they are spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent. Older adults with such severe housing cost burdens spend significantly less on basic necessities like health care and food than their peers without housing cost burdens and may even be pushed into homelessness. In fact, according to LeadingAge, between 2007 and 2017, the rate of homelessness among individuals 62 and older nearly doubled from 4.1% to 8%.”

The full letter is here.

LeadingAge members are urged to ask their Representatives to sign this important letter by its April 21 deadline. House offices can sign onto the letter by contacting Sarah Bassett with Chairwoman Waters at sarah.bassett@mail.house.gov.