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USCCB, CRS call for ‘robust funding’ of federal housing programs

March 20, 2015

Officials of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA have called for the “robust funding” of several federal housing programs.

“As Catholics, we believe that housing is a human right, and that society has a shared obligation to ensure that individuals and families have access to safe and affordable housing,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Sister Donna Markham, president-elect of Catholic Charities USA, said in a letter to members of Congress.

They added:

At a time of substantial unmet need, HUD programs need more resources, not less. We urge you to support robust funding for programs that serve poor and vulnerable people, such as Tenant- and Project-based Rental Assistance, Housing for the Elderly (Section 202) and People with Disabilities (Section 811), Housing for People with AIDS (HOPWA), Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (HUD-VASH), McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance, and Housing Counseling Assistance. Programs that provide resources to communities merit support as well. We support the National Housing Trust Fund and are encouraged that it is finally scheduled to receive funding in 2016. We urge you to reject any effort to block funding for this important program.


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  • Posted by: FredC - Mar. 21, 2015 11:14 AM ET USA

    Housing subsidies are currently provided for people who are not very needy. For example, in our county, for at least the first five years of teaching in public schools, the teacher receives rental assistance, while earning close to $55,000 per year.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Mar. 20, 2015 10:15 PM ET USA

    Does anyone notice the number of programs mentioned here and the many that are not mentioned. One should be asking what are the results. It is like many schools where more money is thrown at the issue but the results are not any better. The country has spent trillions on programs for the poor and yet we have more "poor" today than 20 years ago as a percent of population. Why? Have we gotten to the basic issue? Does more and bigger government really help? No. Need to rethink.

  • Posted by: tjbenjamin - Mar. 20, 2015 9:56 PM ET USA

    Why do we Catholics persist in calling about a secular government to offer charity? What a mistake! This just gives the secularists that much more power. Churches and private institutions and individuals are the proper channels for charity.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 20, 2015 9:18 PM ET USA

    Ah, the political Church lobbies Congress instead of organizing the laity to meet the needs of the poor. Is this the approach that Jesus had in mind with the Sermon on the Mount? By the way, where do the poor find the love of Christ in government programs? Isn't the "Body of Christ" supposed to show that love to the world?

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Mar. 20, 2015 6:49 PM ET USA

    Did the bishops happen to mention what program we should de-fund so that we can increase funding for this program without going further into debt? Surely the bishops would not favor more deficit spending lest we owe more than we already do...and we already owe more than we can ever hope to repay! We have put our children and their children into life-long debt by our spending. Though we have been conducting this "War on Poverty" for over 50 years, we are somehow worse off than when we started!