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U.S. House of Representatives
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Washington, DC 20515
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Press Release

November 14, 2013

Congresswoman Susan Davis Calls on HUD to Keep Its San Diego Office Open






WASHINGTON – With the San Diego housing market still healing, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) called on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to not close the doors to its only field office in San Diego.

“Many San Diego residents were devastated by the housing bubble burst,” said Davis. “Just as we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel the last thing we need is for the federal government to abandon its post here.  This decision is going to impact the ability of people to get housing advice, to stabilize the wave of foreclosures, and address homelessness.”

In a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Davis, who was joined by her colleagues Rep. Scott Peters and Rep. Juan Vargas, asked the department to “reverse its recent decision and consider all possible alternatives that would maintain a field office in San Diego.”

In addition to having one the largest incidents of foreclosures when the housing market collapsed in 2009, San Diego also has one of the largest homeless populations in the nation.  Hundreds of residents in the region rely on San Diego’s HUD office for numerous housing services.

Citing the need to cut costs, the HUD is closing a number of field offices in California leaving just three offices in the state.

Full text of the letter is below:

November 14, 2013

The Honorable Shaun Donovan
Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20410

Dear Secretary Donovan:

With the impending closure of 16 Department of Housing and Urban Development Field Offices across the country fast approaching, we are writing to bring your attention to the particular importance of the San Diego Field Office.  While we understand the extraordinary funding situation the Department faces as a result of sequestration, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision.

Few counties in the United States were hit harder by the mortgage crisis than San Diego.  At a time when housing prices are finally starting to stabilize and the number of foreclosures decreasing, such a sudden closure could upset the fragile economic recovery the region so desperately needs.  San Diego County is home to one of the largest homeless populations in the country.  As a result, hundreds of San Diego residents depend on the San Diego Field Office daily for a variety of essential services from housing counseling to foreclosure prevention assistance.

Coupled with the planned closures of the field offices in Fresno and Sacramento, the decision to close the San Diego field office will leave the nation’s most populous state with only three field offices. In addition, as the Multifamily Housing Program will be moved all the way to San Francisco, San Diegans will be forced to travel almost 500 miles in order to receive in-person assistance.  For many San Diegans dependent on housing assistance, such an added burden will prove impossible to overcome, and will therefore be forced to forgo the housing assistance to which they are entitled. 

We therefore request that the Department of Housing and Urban Development reverse its recent decision and consider all possible alternatives that would maintain a field office in San Diego. These alternatives include other ways of reducing spending within the agency in order to more equitably share the burden of these cuts across the state and formally requesting a reprogramming of funds from Congressional appropriators. We look forward to a swift response detailing how HUD will take immediate steps to avoid the closure of the San Diego Field Office.

Sincerely,

Rep. Susan A. Davis                           Rep. Scott Peters                   Rep. Juan Vargas


 

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