House votes to end two housing programs

The U.S. House voted to end a pair of housing programs, including a 35-year-old housing program that wasn’t funded until last year.

The Urban Development’s Emergency Homeowner Relief Program was created in 1975. But, it was not until the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act last July that the program was funded, according to U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.

“Our country currently has an almost 9 percent unemployment rate and more than $14 trillion in debt,” Westmoreland said in a news release. “Rather than spending $1 billion in taxpayer money on a program that is clearly wasteful and only increases our national debt, we should be focused on job creation and reigning in federal spending. That’s what the American people want.”

The measure now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

“Whenever you have a federally funded government program that’s been in effect for almost eight months without a single dime being spent, you know you have an ineffective program,” Westmoreland said. “…It needed to be terminated and the funds returned to pay down the national debt. I hope the Senate follows our lead and passes this legislation as well.”

The House also voted to end the Federal Housing Authority Refinance Program, a program that started under the Obama Administration and aimed to prevent foreclosures.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., said “repealing these programs will close the door on the American Dream for more and more Americans.”

“We must stand up for the American homeowner. We must stand in their corner. We must not walk away from them, in their time of need,” Lewis said in a statement on the House floor. “I urge my colleagues to stand with me and defeat these bills. Don’t lock the door on the American dream.”

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