Affordable housing is an ongoing challenge as wages simply are not keeping up with the cost of housing. Renters are struggling to find decent housing and keep up with rent increases. Would-be homebuyers are having difficulty achieving the American Dream of owning a home.
Susan has worked to defend affordable housing programs and increase the supply of housing units. She has worked to get federal funding to our region to build housing units in low-income areas and to improve homeless shelters. She has been active in the fight to preserve and expand the Section 8 voucher program providing rental assistance to thousands of working families. She has consistently supported housing counseling agencies to keep people in homes they can afford and to assist them if they can no longer afford their mortgages.
Making Housing More Affordable
Susan is supporting legislation in the House that will help renters and create more affordable housing. The housing provisions in the Pathways Out of Poverty Act, of which Susan is a cosponsor, will:
Improving our Neighborhoods
Since coming to Congress, Susan has worked to bolster the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund (NAHTF) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Through the NAHTF, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is able to provide rental assistance to millions of Americans for whom a home is unaffordable and homelessness is too close to reality. CDBG funds are awarded to state and local groups to be used for everything from infrastructure improvements to affordable housing rehabilitation to preventing and eliminating blight.
Homes for Veterans and Military Personnel
Susan has long been concerned with the increase in homeless veterans in San Diego and across the nation. Because of Susan’s advocacy on behalf of veterans, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) has provided 10,000 additional vouchers for homeless veterans each year. As a result, the homelessness among veterans has finally begun to decline.
For active duty members of the military, Susan introduced bipartisan legislation with Representative Duncan Hunter called the Fairness for Military Homeowners Act. Enacted into law, this bill will allow military homeowners to refinance their mortgage on a principal residence while serving at a duty station that prevents them from occupying their home.
San Diego has one of the largest homeless populations in the country, yet our region doesn’t get its fair share of federal dollars to help get people off the streets. An out-of-date funding formula used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) means that cities with lower homeless populations are getting more federal assistance.
Susan is working to get HUD to change the funding formula so that our region has the federal funding it needs to get people into housing and an opportunity to turn their lives around.
Mortgages and Foreclosures
Thousands of homeowners locally and across the nation are still facing challenges or even foreclosure as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis and other economic issues. Susan has supported legislation that would help at-risk homeowners refinance or modify their costly adjustable-rate or interest-only mortgages into more affordable fixed-rate loans.
In addition to her own legislation, Susan urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to support principal reduction as a way to stabilize and hasten the recovery of the housing market. She also called on the FHFA in support of expanding the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) so that more people can refinance to lower interest rates.
If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage and fear foreclosure, there are free organizations you can turn to for help and advice. Remember, you should never pay for housing counseling services or for home loan modifications. Please click here for more information about fraudulent loan modification scams.
HUD Housing Counseling Referral Line: (800) 569-4287. This service can refer you to housing counseling agencies near you so that you can meet with an individual about your housing needs or attend a housing workshop.
San Diego Community Housing Works: (619) 282-6647. This HUD-approved non-profit organization is designed to help people understand their housing options from affordable rental apartments to first-time homebuyer assistance.
Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline: (888) 995-HOPE. This HUD-approved organization funded by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation is designed to help homeowners work with their lenders to resolve their home loan issues. They work with you and your loan servicer to provide you with information and professional guidance twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
San Diego Housing Commission: (619) 231-9400. This agency administers the Section 8 program in the City of San Diego as well as other housing programs. They also rent affordable housing to qualified residents.
County of San Diego’s Housing & Community Development Department: (858) 694-4801. This county agency administers the Section 8 program in Coronado, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County and other rental assistance.
Cal-Vet Home Loan San Diego Office: (619) 525-3700. The California Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan provides home loan financing for qualified active duty military and veterans.