Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS


Feb 3, 2016
Press Release
My amendment recognizes that helping families achieve economic empowerment requires interagency collaboration, stated Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

February 2, 2016

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Homeland Security and House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after her amendment to HR 3700, the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act was accepted by the full House of Representatives:

“I was pleased to offer an amendment to HR 3700 - the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act which includes many provisions that would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of critical rental assistance programs that serve extremely low-income households. H.R. 3700 contains provisions that would modify several programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including core rental assistance programs (Housing Choice Vouchers, Public Housing, and Project-Based Rental Assistance), homelessness prevention and assistance programs, and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance for condominiums. 

“My amendment that was accepted today recognizes that in addition to housing, connecting low-income families to job training and supportive services are key to helping families’ access employment and economic opportunity and achieve stability. My amendment recognizes that helping families achieve economic empowerment requires interagency collaboration. It is a known fact the public systems are better at solving big problems when they work together to share capacity, knowledge and resources. My amendment will encourage systems collaboration to help ensure that low-income families succeed in housing and employment.

“Aspiring home owners like Fini receive support and resources towards employment success and homeownership. I am proud to report that Fini began the process, stayed the course and completed the criteria needed to qualify for homeownership: earned wages of at least $20,000 per year, a credit score of 640 or higher, the establishment of an Individualized Development (savings) Account with a minimum balance of $1,000, and completion of the FSS program’s Financial Literacy and First Time Home Ownership classes. Fini is now a proud homeowner and can now pass on the legacy of the importance of a work ethic, grit and homeownership to her children.

“H.R. 3700 includes provisions that would help streamline the administration of HUD programs, particularly with respect to income determination for tenants and housing quality inspections for assisted rental housing.  The bill also would expand flexibility between public housing operating and capital funds, and would provide additional flexibility to public housing agencies to conditionally approve housing voucher units with non-life threatening deficiencies in order to allow families immediate access.  H.R. 3700 would ease restrictions on the purchase of condominiums with FHA insurance. 

“Interagency collaborations between agencies such as the Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture can offer families critical support such as child care and nutrition assistance that are necessary for family stability and employment success. Livelihood and self-dignity are tied to employment and employment is critical to achieving financial independence and stability and stimulation of the economy.  My amendment seeks to bridge the opportunities that abound when there is interagency/intersystem collaboration and the success that can come about.”