March 21, 2024

Citing Record Homelessness, Scott Condemns Biden Administration’s Housing Policies

Washington, D.C. – Following reports of the highest homelessness levels ever recorded, Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and seven Senate Banking Committee Republicans called out the Biden administration’s failure to address this growing problem. In a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the senators noted that while the agency has received record funding to combat homelessness, much of the money remains unspent, and pointed to the administration’s policies – including burdensome regulations and an open border approach – that have contributed to a lack of affordable housing opportunities and a meteoric rise in homelessness.

Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) signed the letter.

In the letter, the senators wrote, “This surge in homelessness cannot be blamed on a lack of funding for federal housing programs. In recent years, Congress has provided HUD with record appropriations, expanding the Department’s annual budget authority over 42 percent from FY19 through FY23.  Moreover, $5 billion in HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds were made available in the partisan American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), specifically for homelessness, but nearly all of that funding remains unspent.”

The letter continued, “Instead, it is clear that the policies of this administration are to blame. Rents have grown by more than 27 percent since 2019, and home prices have climbed by nearly 50 percent in that same period.  Opportunities to access affordable housing or achieve the American Dream of homeownership have faded under your watch, as federal spending has driven inflation to historic highs…Even more concerning, this administration’s open border policies have exacerbated homelessness in cities across our nation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded an all-time high of roughly three million encounters with migrants illegally entering the country in FY23.  The staggering levels of illegal border crossings are impacting state and local budgets, including their capacity to assist our own citizens struggling with homelessness.”

To read the full letter, click here.


Following the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s release of their annual count of homelessness, Ranking Member Scott called for the Biden administration to be held accountable and for the Senate Banking Committee to hold a hearing with federal housing regulators to answer for the appalling statistics.

Ranking Member Scott’s comprehensive housing legislation – the ROAD to Housing Act – includes important reforms to combat homelessness. The legislation, which centers support around families and communities, focuses on solutions that actually reduce the number of homeless Americans in this country. It will also preserve affordable housing and encourage new construction, making more homes available for all.

In addition, Ranking Member Scott has pushed back on efforts by the Biden administration to introduce burdensome regulations, specifically by the Department of Energy, as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Agriculture, that would increase costs, reduce affordable housing opportunities, and unnecessarily limit consumer choices, especially for low-income families.