“Too many members of our community are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. While there is no silver bullet to end homelessness and make housing affordable, there are many ways Congress and the federal government can work with local communities to address these urgent challenges."
- Rep. Adam Schiff
Addressing the Homelessness Crisis
Rep. Adam Schiff recognizes the continuing crisis of homelessness in the Los Angeles area and across our state and has long fought for increased federal funding to support state and local governments and community organizations that are working to address this issue. Schiff supports federal programs that specifically address homelessness—like federal grants for organizations that provide outreach, services, and permanent housing and programs that specifically target homeless veterans and their families—as well as federal efforts to make housing more affordable in general, like Housing Choice Vouchers. Schiff is also a proud cosponsor of the Ending Homelessness Act of 2019, which would appropriate more than $13 billion in emergency funding for federal housing and homelessness initiatives to ensure that the federal government’s response to the homelessness crisis matches the scale of the problem.
Creating Affordable Housing
Families around the country, and especially in California, are hard hit by the lack of affordable housing. Housing has become particularly unaffordable in many parts of the Los Angeles area, and Rep. Adam Schiff is working to ensure that the federal government is doing all it can to reverse this trend.
Rep. Schiff recently introduced the Affordable and Homeless Housing Incentives Act, which would create new tax incentives to help nonprofits and public agencies acquire property to use as affordable housing or homeless shelters. This legislation would provide tax benefits to property owners who sell to public and nonprofit housing developers, as long as the sellers use the proceeds to purchase a replacement property within three years. In exchange, the purchasers must operate the property as affordable or homeless housing for at least thirty years. To qualify, nonprofit developers must be designated to receive Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing funds or have a proven history of receiving other local, state, or federal grants for affordable housing. In communities with expensive real estate markets, like Los Angeles, this new incentive will provide public agencies and nonprofits who develop affordable and homeless housing an added advantage as they compete with private developers to acquire property. Learn more.
Schiff is a longtime supporter of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher program, which subsidizes rent for low-income families, and has fought to ensure that this and similar programs are adequately funded even when the Administration has sought to reduce its budget. Schiff has also worked to make it easier for local housing authorities to administer these programs, particularly for tenants who have moved from one jurisdiction to another.
Schiff is also a co-sponsor of the Fair Housing Improvement Act to protect low-income families, veterans, and others who use federal vouchers to pay rent from housing discrimination. Already, low-income families and veterans have to endure long waiting periods – many longer than a year and a half – to receive federal housing assistance. If they are subsequently turned away by landlords for no other reason than the fact they receive government aid, that discrimination only perpetuates cycles of poverty and homelessness, preventing families from moving into neighborhoods with better schools and job opportunities. And, for communities of color that have been persistently excluded from housing opportunities, the ramifications of this discrimination and its subsequent economic disparities can be felt for generations.