PRESS RELEASE

Capuano Demands Action, Forces Debate on Affordable Housing Trust Fund

September 23, 2004

Today U.S. Rep Mike Capuano (D-MA) is leading the charge in urging his colleagues to sign the Lee-Sanders-Capuano discharge petition for H. R. 1102, the "National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act."

"It is clear that the Republican leadership in Congress is not interested in addressing the growing problem of affordable housing in this country. Despite the fact that this legislation has 214 co-sponsors, enjoys bi-partisan support and has been endorsed by over 5,000 organizations nationwide, they continue to refuse to bring the bill up for a vote. I had no choice but to file this discharge petition to force action on this critical legislation," stated Congressman Mike Capuano.

The National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act creates a grant program to expand affordable housing opportunities in communities across the country. The legislation provides funding for a number of housing initiatives, including new construction, rehabilitation of existing housing, rental assistance and incentives for keeping existing housing affordable. States, municipalities, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding.

Once 218 Members, a majority of the House, have signed onto the discharge petition, the bill must be brought to the floor of the House for consideration. Discharge petitions are the only way to force action on important legislation that is opposed by the Republican leadership.

"We are faced with a growing crisis in affordable housing. The cost to purchase a home or rent an apartment is rising faster that the incomes of many working families, especially in places like Greater Boston. Yet time and time again, our Republican leadership chooses to ignore this problem. They've weakened the Section 8 program and now they're refusing to move legislation that will clearly increase affordable housing opportunities," stated Rep. Capuano.

The discharge petition became available for signatures on Tuesday. To date, 101 Members have signed on.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208