Heinrich Urges Increased Funding For Affordable Housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 23, 2019) - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined 40 of his colleagues on a bipartisan letter urging increased funding for the Section 4 Capacity Building program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 4 Program works with local community development organizations to improve affordable housing, finance small businesses, and provide for other community needs. Last year alone, New Mexico organizations received over $215,000 in funding under Section 4 and recipients included organizations like New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority, Santo Domingo Tribal Housing Authority, Tierra del Sol Housing Corporation, and Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative.

In their letter, the Senators wrote, “The Section 4 Program allows HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country. Section 4 funds are required by law to be matched 3:1 with private investments, but program funds have consistently leveraged substantially higher amounts.”
They continued, “We are disappointed that the President’s budget has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development. Since the HUD Demonstration Act was authorized in 1993, Section 4 has proven to be a valuable and cost-effective program that has produced tangible results. Through a nationwide support network, Section 4 provides programmatic and training assistance to local organizations, ensuring program goals are met while granting the necessary flexibility to meet community-specific needs. As communities across the country continue to look for ways to expand economic development and provide affordable housing, funding for Section 4 remains critically important.”
The Senators close the letter stating, “As the Subcommittee works through the process of determining how to effectively appropriate federal funds, it is our hope that you will continue your support for Section 4 in FY 2020.”
In addition to Senator Heinrich, the letter was signed by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Margaret Hassan (D-N.H.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Gary C. Peters (D-Mich.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The full text of the letter is available here and below:
Dear Chair Collins and Ranking Member Reed:
We write to respectfully request that as your Subcommittee works to complete its FY 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, you support a funding level of $40 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Program.
The Section 4 Program allows HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country. Section 4 funds are required by law to be matched 3:1 with private investments, but program funds have consistently leveraged substantially higher amounts. For each dollar of Section 4 funding, a total of $20 or more in private investment has been brought into local communities for economic and community development. From 2014 to 2018, Section 4 helped 973 local CDCs nationwide leverage approximately $7.7 billion for community and economic development and helped to build or preserve more than 39,000 homes in low-income neighborhoods. Since the Program’s inception, Section 4 has benefitted all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The targeted federal investments made through Section 4 attract and accelerate private sector involvement and funding into critical local community development projects.
We are disappointed that the President’s budget has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development. Since the HUD Demonstration Act was authorized in 1993, Section 4 has proven to be a valuable and cost-effective program that has produced tangible results. Through a nationwide support network, Section 4 provides programmatic and training assistance to local organizations, ensuring program goals are met while granting the necessary flexibility to meet community-specific needs. As communities across the country continue to look for ways to expand economic development and provide affordable housing, funding for Section 4 remains critically important.
As the Subcommittee works through the process of determining how to effectively appropriate federal funds, it is our hope that you will continue your support for Section 4 in FY 2020. We thank you for your consideration.