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The Housing issue is important to our district and to my work in Congress.
For nearly ten years I served as president of the Houston Branch of the NAACP. In that capacity I worked hard to make sure that every American has equality of opportunity. I continue this fight on the Financial Services Committee.
Every year more than 3.7 million fair housing violations are committed solely against minority communities. Fair housing education and enforcement play a pivotal role in increasing minority homeownership. Although homeownership rates are at an all-time high, the homeownership gap between non-minorities and minorities is worse than it was in 1940: 23% versus 27% today. With increased funding, fair housing organizations will be able to assist more individuals, the housing industry and communities in forming integrated neighborhoods, free from discrimination.
As long as I am in Congress, I will be a champion of protecting programs like the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and Section 8. CDBG provides financial assistance for the improvement of housing and economic conditions in low- and moderate- income neighborhoods. In 2004 alone, CDBG assisted over 23 million people and created or retained more than 78,000 jobs. The Section 8 housing program is critical to our community’s ability to secure safe, affordable housing for low-income families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. These vouchers provide struggling families the stability and foundation needed to maintain employment and achieve economic success. The Financial Services Committee, on which I serve, has held hearings on the Administration’s proposal to cut funding for CDBG and legislation that would destroy the Section 8 housing program. I will continue to oppose any attempts to undermine the American dream and any action that would lead to increased segregation and further concentration of poverty.