Sen. Kamala Harris And Rep. Maxine Waters Have Teamed Up To Help Elimante Homelessness
The new bill looks to give more than $13 billion to affordable housing initiatives nationwide.
Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Maxine Waters partnered up to introduce a bill in their respective houses of Congress that will invest billions of dollars into affordable housing and other initiatives meant to prevent homelessness.
The “Ending Homelessness Act,” which Harris introduced to the Senate on Thursday, would give an additional $13.27 billion to housing initiatives over the course of five years to create an estimated 400,000 affordable housing units. The legislation has already been co-sponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirono and Patty Murray.
"Too many people don’t have a safe place to call home. We must act quickly to tackle our country’s homelessness crisis head on,” Harris said in a news release reported by the Huffington Post. “The women and men who woke up this morning on a bench or under an overpass cannot afford to wait.”
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Rep. Waters' version of the legislation passed through the House Committee in March and is expected to receive a full house vote soon.
The issue of homelessness has long been a nationwide crisis, but it has been much worse in both Waters' and Harris' home state of California, where nearly a quarter of all homeless people nationwide reside, according to a report by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In the past two years, homelessness has spiked in Los Angeles, the district in which Waters represents, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where Harris is from and had served as district attorney.
"In the richest country in the world, it is simply unacceptable that we have people living in the streets,” Waters said in a news release reported by the Huffington Post.
Funds for the plan would be appropriated from mandatory emergency relief funding; however, Harris' team told the Huffington Post that it was still to be determined exactly where the funds would be drawn from. The process of deciding that is likely to take place through discussions in the Senate Committee.