Bennet Calls for Key Housing Affordability Investments in Line With His Housing Affordability Strategy Group’s Recommendations

Based on the Group’s Recommendations, Bennet Is Requesting Inclusion of Funding to Prevent Evictions & Boost Affordable Housing Supply in Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is calling on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations to increase funding for successful housing programs that help prevent evictions and boost the country’s housing supply in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill. This comes after Bennet and Colorado U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper convened a group of Coloradans in August 2021 to form the Housing Affordability Strategy Group, which developed a policy framework to address Colorado’s housing affordability crisis. The group’s proposal includes recommendations to help prevent evictions and increase the nation’s affordable housing supply.

“Our growing housing challenges demand a collaborative, all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Bennet. “Last summer, I convened a group of Colorado housing leaders to understand what our state needs to address the housing affordability crisis. Based on the group’s recommendations, I’m urging the Appropriations Committee to make key investments in programs that help prevent evictions and boost the supply of affordable housing.”

On May 13, Bennet led 18 of his colleagues in urging the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development to expand eviction prevention legal assistance, a centerpiece of the Housing Affordability Strategy Group’s policy framework. In the letter, Bennet and his colleagues request $100 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Eviction Protection Grant Program. 

Research shows that legal representation in eviction proceedings reduces evictions and harm to families — yet only about 3% of tenants who face eviction receive legal representation, compared to 81% of landlords. With state and federal eviction moratoria lifted, Emergency Rental Assistance funds running out, and families facing rapidly rising housing costs, this significant increase for legal assistance will help families stay in their homes. The full text of the letter is available HERE

This comes as Bennet is also working to pass his bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act, which will create the first permanent federal program to provide emergency rental assistance to prevent evictions, as well as support increased legal representation for tenants, shed light on the root causes of the eviction crisis, reduce preventable evictions, and limit the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable. 

Bennet also joined his colleagues in urging appropriators to increase investments to expand housing supply — another central recommendation from the Housing Affordability Strategy Group’s policy framework

Bennet’s appropriations requests to boost housing supply include: 

  • $2.1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME): The HOME program is the only federal block grant program for state and local governments that is designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. The program provides a flexible resource to meet communities’ most critical affordable housing needs such as the production and preservation of rental homes, single-family home construction, homeowner rehabilitation, and tenant-based rental assistance. The full text of the letter is available HERE.
  • $4.2 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program: The CDBG program is one of the most effective resources to revitalize low- and moderate-income communities across the country. The program’s flexibility allows communities to design and implement strategies tailored to meet local needs and priorities. CDBG funding supports homeownership, housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements, and economic development. The full text of the letter is available HERE.
  • $20 million for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and $5 million for the Rural Capacity Building (RCB) program: SHOP and the RCB program both support affordable housing in rural communities. In light of limited federal funding available to support low-income homeownership, especially in rural areas, increasing funding for these successful and efficient programs has never been more important. The full text of the letter is available HERE.

Bennet continues to push for strong investments to address the housing affordability crisis outside of the appropriations process.