U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is celebrating the release of nearly $500,000 aimed at improving access to affordable housing in Florida’s 26th Congressional District.
That money is part of an overall $157 million investment this Fiscal Year in NeighborWorks America, a nonprofit aimed at advancing community development nationwide.
Mucarsel-Powell won the CD 26 seat in 2018. During negotiations for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Mucarsel-Powell advocated for $170 million to go toward NeighborWorks. The final budget allocation fell $13 million short of that number.
The organization will now distribute that money, which Congress appropriated.
“I’m delighted that the funding that I pushed for is going directly to help with the affordable housing crisis facing South Florida,” Mucarsel-Powell said in a Thursday statement.
“This funding will create opportunities for working families and help low-income Floridians in our community move up the economic ladder. In 2019 alone, in Florida, NeighborWorks helped create 1,079 new homeowners, helped over 4,600 Floridians find rental homes, and created over 1,100 jobs. This is one of the most pressing issues facing Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys, and I will make sure it remains a national priority.”
Congress chartered NeighborWorks America back in 1978. Lou Tisler is the Executive Director of National NeighborWorks Association, the trade association for NeighborWorks organizations across the country. He thanked Mucarsel-Powell for supporting funding for the group.
“The needs are great in many communities across our nation,” Tisler said.
“Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell continues to provide bipartisan leadership and commitment to provide much needed funding to national and local organizations, like NeighborWorks America, Centro Campesino Farmworker Center, Inc., and Rural Neighborhoods, Inc. to address affordable housing and community development challenges.”
NeighborWorks is made up of organizations like Centro Campesino Farmworker Center and Rural Neighborhoods. Several Republicans joined Mucarsel-Powell in signing onto the 2019 letter pushing for $170 million in NeighborWorks funding. More than 100 members of Congress signed that letter.
“We are grateful to Congresswomen Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for leading this successful bipartisan effort,” said Steven Kirk, President of Rural Neighborhoods.
“This crucial funding will allow Rural Neighborhoods to continue working to ensure that rural, migrant and low-income communities have the resources needed to move up the economic ladder. The work we do relies on strong public-private partnerships made possible through investments like this.”
John Martinez, Executive Director of Centro Campesino, also added a statement in favor of the funding.
“Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell provides a powerful voice in Washington for our community and ensures that critical issues such as affordable housing and job creation are at the forefront,” Martinez said.
“The funding will support our ability to provide housing counseling to create prepared new homeowners, renovate and preserve affordable, and provide affordable housing.”
President Donald Trump‘s Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal would eliminate funding for the NeighborWorks program.