Statement from Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, on the Confirmation of Pam Patenaude as HUD Deputy Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Senate confirmed Pam Patenaude as the deputy secretary of HUD today. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) congratulates Ms. Patenaude on her confirmation.

Ms. Patenaude’s confirmation comes at a critical time given the massive housing recovery effort HUD will be undertaking for the communities ravaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been damaged and, in some cases, destroyed during the hurricanes. Consequently, a large number of people will need assistance repairing and rebuilding their homes or finding new safe, affordable housing options.   

The confirmation of Ms. Patenaude also comes at a time when the affordable housing crisis throughout America is worsening. Nationally, as shown by NLIHC’s report The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, the U.S. has a shortage of 7.4 million affordable rental homes available to the lowest income people. Because of chronic underfunding of rental housing assistance programs, just one in four of the poorest people in America get the housing assistance they so desperately need.  More than 8 million of the lowest income households are forced to spend over half of their incomes on housing, leaving them little for other basic necessities like food and medical expenses. As a result, they are more likely to experience eviction and, in the worst cases, homelessness.

Ms. Patenaude —a strong leader with decades of experience cultivating bipartisan solutions to America’s affordable housing crisis—understands that safe, decent, affordable homes transform lives and give people the stability they need to achieve economic mobility, improve their health, and allow children to do better in school. She knows that investments in affordable homes for the lowest-income households also bolster productivity and economic growth. Ms. Patenaude has worked throughout her career to advance solutions based on this fundamental understanding.

We stand ready to work with Ms. Patenaude on the housing recovery needed in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and on preserving, improving, and expanding critical HUD programs to address homelessness and housing poverty throughout the country.

Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.

National Low Income Housing Coalition 1000 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington DC  20005 202/662-1530; Fax 202/393-1973;