Representative Waters Reintroduces Bills to Combat Affordable Housing and Homelessness Crises

Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, reintroduced a legislative housing package on June 21 to tackle the affordable housing crisis, end homelessness, and eliminate racial wealth and homeownership gaps. The package includes two NLIHC-endorsed bills, the “Ending Homelessness Act of 2023” and the “Housing Crisis Response Act of 2023,” which were included in the housing title of the “Build Back Better Act” passed in the House last Congress.

The Ending Homelessness Act (H.R.4232) includes one of the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities, ensuring universal rental assistance for every eligible household. The bill would also increase the supply of housing affordable to people with the lowest incomes, prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters based on source of income and veteran status, and enact other critical measures to help end homelessness. Specifically, the bill would: expand the Housing Choice Voucher program, making it a federal entitlement phased in over eight years; appropriate $10 billion over five years for the national Housing Trust Fund and McKinney-Vento homeless assistance grants; permanently authorize the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and the “McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act;” and provide funding for outreach and case management to connect individuals experiencing homelessness to needed services. The Ending Homelessness Act would fund the development of 410,000 new rental homes for people experiencing homelessness. Researchers from Columbia University project that the bill would lift 9 million people out of poverty, reduce child poverty by more than a third, and decrease racial disparities in poverty rates among Black and white households.

The Housing Crisis Response Act of 2023 (H.R.4233) would provide more than $150 billion in critical investments to help low-income renters afford rent, support public housing, create and preserve affordable and accessible housing, improve equitable planning and development processes that affirmatively further fair housing, and expand homeownership opportunities. It would also provide: $24 billion to fund Housing Choice Vouchers and supportive services; $1 billion for the first new project-based rental assistance contracts since 1983; and $65 billion to repair the nation’s public housing, preserving and improving more than 500,000 public housing units.

The funds provided through the Housing Crisis Response Act would create nearly 1.4 million affordable and accessible homes, help 294,000 households afford their rent, and address the racial wealth gap through the first-ever national investment in homeownership for first-time, first-generation homebuyers. The bill also includes provisions to increase housing accessibility and advance fair housing, including requiring grantees to report on fair housing outcomes.

Representative Waters, along with Representatives Al Green (D-TX), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), also introduced the Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2023 (H.R.4231), which would help address the racial wealth and homeownership gaps by providing $100 billion in direct assistance to help first-time, first-generation homebuyers purchase a home. The bill would provide assistance for downpayments, closing costs, and to help buydown mortgage interest rates. 

Read a press release announcing the bills at:

Learn more about the “Ending Homelessness Act” and read the bill text at:

Learn more about the “Housing Crisis Response Act” and read the bill text at:

Learn more about the “Downpayment Toward Equity Act” and read the bill text at: