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Funding Bill to Support Vancouver’s Affordable Housing Programs passed by U.S. Appropriations House Committee

Jaime Herrera Beutler helped craft bill that provides funding for housing and hunger programs

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Washington, DC, May 25, 2016 | comments

Yesterday, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the 2017 Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that provides funding for affordable housing and hunger programs. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler helped craft this bill that includes Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership programs that Clark County and the City of Vancouver use to fund critical programs. The next step for the Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill, is a vote on the U.S. House Floor.

CDBG and HOME grants give cities and communities flexibility to use funds for the specific needs of that region. The funds can be used for projects or programs that help low to moderate income persons, provide for shelters and affordable housing, and to address an immediate threat to health and safety of residents. The Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill included $3 billion for CDBG and $940 million for HOME.

In 2015, The City of Vancouver was awarded $1,157,637 in CDBG funding and $529.874 in HOME funding.

In 2015, these funds were used for 21 programs including:

  • Second Step Housing, a rental assistance program that serves chronically homeless individuals and families with rent support;
  • providing meals and a school back pack program through Share, a hunger response program that serves 5,600 people in Clark County;
  • the remodel of the Columbia River Mental Health main clinic that served 3,383 people in 2015.

“I understand how important programs like SHARE Outreach and Hunger Response are to serving the most vulnerable in and around Vancouver,” said Jaime. “I worked throughout the appropriations process to protect these grants that give flexibility to local communities, so they can continue to focus resources on the specific needs in our community.”  

The bill also includes $2.487 billion for Homeless Assistance Grant funding. The Homeless Assistance Grants provide communities with funding for programs preventing homelessness, rapid rehousing, emergency shelter, supportive services, transitional and permanent housing. As reported by the Columbian, the Point-in-Time count in January 2016 was 464 sheltered and 228 unsheltered homeless people in Clark County. 

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