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Housing Funding Bill Authored by Senator Collins with Key Wins for Maine to be Signed into Law

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill she authored with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) has passed the Senate and House and will be signed into law as part of the year-end omnibus funding package.  The legislation includes Senator Collins’ provisions to support vulnerable Mainers and strengthen communities.


“Increasing the supply of safe, affordable housing, strengthening our communities, and supporting job creation are among my top priorities as Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee,” said Senator Collins.  “This bipartisan legislation will bolster housing for low-income families and seniors, reduce homelessness, and support community revitalization projects across Maine.”


The final appropriation provides $75.4 billion, which is $1.1 billion more than the previous year.  Housing provisions secured by Senator Collins that benefit Maine include:


  • Community Development Block Grants. The bill provides $3.45 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, which helps state and local governments promote economic development and job creation.


  • Housing during substance abuse recovery. The bill provides $25 million for assistance to States to provide temporary housing to those who are in recovery from a substance use disorder. Maine will receive $850,000.


  • Funding for youth homelessness. The bill includes $80 million for grants and technical assistance to test comprehensive efforts to end youth homelessness in urban and rural areas.


  • Section 8 Vouchers for youth aging out of foster care. The bill includes $20 million for new family unification vouchers to prevent youth exiting foster care from becoming homeless.


  • Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans (HUD-VASH). The bill includes $40 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers to reduce veterans’ homelessness. These vouchers have been critical to reducing veterans’ homelessness by 50 percent since 2010. Since the program was first established, Maine has received 238 vouchers to support homeless veterans.


  • Increased funding for lead grants. The bill includes $360 million to combat lead hazards, $70 million above last year’s level. These grants help communities like Lewiston protect children from the harmful effects of lead poisoning.


  • Aging in Place Home Modifications for Seniors. The bill includes $10 million for grants for home modifications to enable low-income seniors to “age in place’ and remain in their own homes.


  • Section 202 Housing for the Elderly. The bill includes $855 million for the Section 202 program.  Of this total, $52 million is for the development of new senior housing properties, and $25 million is for the expansion of service coordinators to properties that do not have coordinators.


  • Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS). The bill includes $105 million for the FSS program. This program enables HUD-assisted families to increase their earned income and reduce their dependency on welfare assistance and rental subsidies.


This legislation was approved by Congress as part of the annual budget process.  Additional, emergency transportation funding Senator Collins secured is also being provided for key transportation needs to help address challenges in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.