March 22, 2018

Crapo Statement at HUD Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, delivered the following remarks during a full committee hearing with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

The text of Chairman Crapo’s remarks, as prepared, is below.

“Today, the Committee will receive testimony from Dr. Ben Carson, the 17th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Welcome back, Mr. Secretary.

“Over the past year, Secretary Carson has made significant strides in his efforts to make HUD programs more effective and efficient.

“He has embarked upon a multi-month listening tour, traveling across the country to develop a deeper understanding of the effect that HUD policies have on affordable housing practitioners and families who are the most vulnerable.

“Not long after returning from the tour, Secretary Carson took on a major leadership role in coordinating hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, providing both immediate and long-term relief to thousands of families who have been displaced from their homes and are without electricity. That work continues.

“As a nominee just over a year ago, Secretary Carson testified before this Committee about the importance of revisiting our nation’s housing programs to ensure that families who are struggling in America have the best opportunity to climb the economic and social ladder, to break intergenerational cycles of poverty, and to become self-sufficient.

“Secretary Carson has also stressed the importance of aligning regulatory requirements in ways that: incentivize landlord participation in HUD programs; eliminate undue burden on program participants; enhance workforce mobility; and maximize the percentage of HUD dollars that go straight to the families that need it.

“I could not agree more with these goals, and I thank Secretary Carson and his team for working with this Committee to achieve these objectives.

“Last week, by voting 67-31 to pass the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Senate took a decisive step forward in addressing these same issues. 

“Much of the debate on the floor last week highlighted how the legislation right-sizes regulations for community banks and credit unions to promote economic development and lending.

“But the bill also makes important improvements to housing programs.

“It provides critical regulatory relief to over one thousand small, rural public housing agencies, making it easier for them to develop new projects and coordinate with their neighbors, and it ensures that more of their budgets go straight to families, rather than legal paperwork.

“The bill makes it less expensive for nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity to build homes in underserved communities.

“It makes a greater number of families eligible for HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program, and enhances the program so that it can offer new, additional services to participants.

“It permits renters to stay in their homes for at least 90 days after their home is foreclosed upon, and it permanently extends the amount of time a servicemember may stay in his or her home after returning from military service to one year before the home may be foreclosed upon.

“We hope this bill will be signed into law as soon as possible.

“Today, I look forward to hearing about more opportunities for us to keep moving forward, working together to modernize and improve our housing programs.”