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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered remarks at the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association’s (PHADA) Legislative Forum. She was introduced by John Hodge, Executive Director of Brunswick and Topsham Housing Authorities and president of PHADA. Following her remarks, Senator Collins participated in a Q&A with forum attendees.
“The progress we are making on affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and increasing healthy housing options for our most vulnerable is the result of the hard work and passion of countless advocates like you, and of individuals and organizations in communities throughout the country,” said Senator Collins. “Safe, affordable housing in one of the great challengers facing our nation. With your continued dedication, it is a challenge we can meet.”
PHADA represents the professional administrators of approximately 1,900 housing authorities throughout the United States. In total, they represent more than 1.9 million low-income housing units across the country. Their members manage small, medium, large, rural, and urban housing authorities that run programs including public housing, housing choice vouchers, self-sufficiency programs, and a variety of innovative public-private partnerships.
As Chairman of the Senate Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins has fought to preserve funding for programs that support our nation’s housing agencies. She is currently leading the charge to renew important funding for fiscal year 2020.
Earlier this year, Congress passed and the President signed into law legislation Senator Collins co-authored that provides $40 million for new HUD-VASH vouchers to reduce veterans’ homelessness. Since the program was first established in 2008, Maine has received 238 vouchers to support homeless veterans. Senator Collins’ efforts have contributed to homelessness among veterans declining by 49 percent since 2010.
In March, Senator Collins hosted Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson in Lewiston to see firsthand how federal housing programs are improving the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of Mainers and strengthening local communities.