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Porter, Schiff, Lee and Garvey’s views on housing, homelessness


(Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

The Burbank representative has backed legislation that has expanded federal funding for housing. He, along with Lee and Porter, voted for the American Rescue Plan along with the earlier COVID-19 stimulus package that included billions of dollars in rental subsidies for people on the verge of eviction. He also supported the Ending Homelessness Act of 2023, legislation sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), a roughly $10 billion proposal to reducing homelessness though existing government programs.

In the past, Schiff has used a federal grant funding mechanism known as earmarks — or money targeted at specific projects — to get money for nonprofits in his district. In the 2022, his office got about $11 million in funding for projects that touched homelessness, housing and food insecurity.

On the campaign trail, Schiff has talked quite a bit about homelessness and economic insecurity. Both Schiff and Porter have released housing plans, and each has talked about the need to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which is the signature program for financing affordable housing construction in the United States. The program offers tax breaks for investors who fund the construction of affordable housing.

Separately, just a quarter of the people who qualify receive the federal government’s main rental subsidy program, known as Section 8 housing vouchers. Schiff and others have called for this program to be an entitlement—meaning everyone who meets the income requirements receives the subsidy.

Schiff wants to increase federal spending on homelessness by at least $100 billion. Currently the federal govenremnt spends about $10 billion on homelessness assistance programs through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (This doesn’t include rental subsides through the Section 8 program). He also wants to restrict private equity investors from buying up large tracts of housing so as not to crowd out first-time purchasers of homes and provide down payment assistance to low-income Americans when buying homes.

“Beyond the kind of immediate task of getting people off the street to make things more affordable, I think we need to change the tax incentives that provide much stronger incentives to develop housing,” Schiff said. “We have to find a way to constrain rising rents even in places where there’s lots of vacancy.”



This story originally appeared on LA Times

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