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Congressman Kucinich believes it is imperative that affordable housing is available throughout Northeast Ohio and that the community work together to end homelessness. The Congressman also believes it is very important to protect homebuyers from predatory lending practices and foreclosure. If you need assistance with a housing issue, please visit the Services for You section of the website.


The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act


Securing Homeless Programs

Helping the Homeless

Requesting Release of Census Data on Homeless

Columbia Park/Olmsted Township Senior Mobile Home Park

Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance

Affordable Housing for Cleveland

View press releases and related documents on housing


Congressman Kucinich has been very concerned with the effects of the burst housing bubble on Northeast Ohio. Since taking the helm of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee in the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman Kucinich has held six hearings related to predatory lending and the foreclosure crisis. Read about the most recent hearing and see links to other hearings HERE.

In May 2008, the House considered HR 5818, the Neighborhood Stabilization Act, which provided funds to states to stem the wave of foreclosures and address the problem of vacant properties. Congressman Kucinich used the testimony and the data gathered from those hearings to construct an amendment that improved the formula that states would use to allocate the funds. The amendment ensured that neighborhoods with the highest rate of vacancies received the most support. The amendment was unanimously accepted and the bill easily passed the House.

In July, the House passed HR3221, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, a comprehensive housing reform bill that aimed to stem the foreclosure crisis and reform the federal housing entities. Among the provisions in HR 3221 was the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which aims to stem the foreclosure crisis by providing money to states and local governments to purchase foreclosed homes and abandoned properties. Congressman Kucinich wrote a letter to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Steve Preston to share with him the information gathered at a Domestic Policy Subcommittee hearing in May in order to develop a formula for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program that targeted communities with the greatest need. When Secretary Preston announced the program at the end of September, the formula that HUD used to allocate money to localities made explicit reference to the considerations that Congressman Kucinich urged in that letter. As a result, the City of Cleveland received over $16 million, Cuyahoga County received over $11 million, and the state of Ohio grant was over $116.8 million. As a comparison California, a state much larger than Ohio, received $145 million.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act 

During consideration of the $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (the “bailout bill”), Congressman Kucinich was very concerned that the bill would not keep people in their homes, because the US Treasury would not be able to change the terms of bad mortgages. The Act did not require Treasury to purchase a controlling share in the underlying mortgage backed securities, so the Secretary would be powerless to make any real and substantive change in the terms of a mortgage. Congressman Kucinich opposed the legislation, and it was defeated in the House.

After the defeat in the House, Congressman Kucinich immediately sent a letter to House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank as well as Speaker Nancy Pelosi to voice his concerns. Unfortunately, when the bill came to the House floor again later in the week, it passed. History has taught us that Congressman Kucinich was right: shortly after the President signed the bill into law, Treasury Secretary Paulson abandoned his plan to buy mortgage-backed securities. The bailout has done nothing to stem the rise in foreclosures.


Homelessness continues to be a concern in Northeast Ohio, made worse by the harsh winters and ever-changing weather conditions. 2007 saw an increase in requests for emergency shelter in Cleveland, but a decrease in the number of people forced to sleep outside. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless estimates that 26,000 individuals are homeless within each year and 4,000 individuals are homeless on any given night in the Cleveland area. The National Coalition for the Homeless puts these estimate at 2 million to 7 million people homeless within a year and 500,000 to 700,000 are homeless on any given night nationally.

Because of these trends and an increase in the number of constituents seeking help from the Congressional Office, Congressman Kucinich initiated the 10th District Homelessness Summit. Over 200 representatives of homeless service and advocacy groups, governmental agencies, elected officials, and current and formerly homeless persons in the Cleveland area, have participated in the Summit meetings, the first on February 7, 2003, with a series of follow-up meetings. The proceedings of those Summit meetings were released by Congressman Kucinich in an August 21, 2003, press conference at his Lakewood District Office. The Homelessness Summit Report highlights programs in Ohio’s 10th Congressional District that contribute toward helping homeless persons or helping persons avoid homelessness. It also points out important gaps in funding and services and makes programmatic and legislative recommendations.

Securing Funds for Homeless Programs

In the 106th Congress, Congressman Kucinich’s advocacy made federal homeless program funds more readily available to the community groups that implement those programs. Congressman Kucinich pressured Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials in private meetings, through statements on the House floor and in committee meetings to agree to give technical advice to non-profit applicants for HUD program funds. The changes HUD agreed to were passed into law after HR 409, the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act passed the House of Representatives.

Congressman Kucinich learned of a problem when a Cleveland-based homeless program, PASS, was denied HUD funding. This Salvation Army program shelters 47 homeless men and gives them counseling and job training. HUD turned down the request after the applicant mistakenly checked the wrong box on the grant application form. The applicant had sought advice from HUD that would have prevented the problem; however HUD denied giving advice to applicants.

Congressman Kucinich’s involvement made the critical difference. "This really means so much," said Bill Bowen, an official with the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland." Thanks to your determined voice of reason, the HUD bureaucracy was successfully challenged to examine their rejection of this important project," wrote Tim McCormack, Jane L. Campbell and Jimmy Dimora, then-Cuyahoga County Commissioners, in a letter to Congressman Kucinich dated May 19, 1999.

In January 2000, HUD turned down a request for funds submitted by Mental Health Services, Inc. of Cleveland on bureaucratic grounds. Mental Health Services provides mobile services for homeless persons. Congressman Kucinich acted immediately and wrote HUD Secretary Cuomo on behalf of Mental Health Services. As a result of Kucinich's action, HUD reversed itself and awarded funding to Cuyahoga County for mobile mental health services.

"For HUD to reverse itself…is close to miraculous…You have helped to preserve one of the most important programs for the homeless in Cuyahoga County," wrote President John Urban and Executive Director Steve Friedman of Mental Health Services, in a letter faxed on March 3, 2000.

Helping the Homeless

Throughout his career in Congress, Congressman Kucinich has consistently supported legislation to increase awareness of homelessness and increase services to and resources for homeless persons.

In December 1999, Congressman Kucinich chaired a fact-finding hearing to gather information on the status of programs affecting the Cleveland-area homeless population, particularly homeless families with children and homeless veterans. Local homeless services providers know the needs of homeless families with children; they see the struggles of homeless veterans. The purpose of these hearings was to listen to testimony that highlighted policies possibly in need of change. The hearings included testimony from several homeless Clevelanders, and experts from the Cleveland chapter of the Salvation Army, the United Way, and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.

Requesting Release of Census Bureau Data on Homeless

Congressman Kucinich has followed up these efforts in the 107th Congress by seeking to have the Census 2000 data on the nation’s homeless population released to the public. For the 2000 Census local governments and homeless advocacy groups, in partnership with the Census Bureau, invested resources in counting Americans sleeping in shelters, eating at soup kitchens, and living on the streets through Service Based Enumeration and Targeted Non Shelter Outdoor Location programs.

However, the Census Bureau decided not to show the count of people living in shelters and on the streets separately. Instead, people counted on the street will be lumped in with people living in other “noninstitutional group quarters,” which are dormitories or other places in which people live that are not operated by the government.

Congressman Kucinich believes that local governments and community groups deserve to learn the results of this collection. If data is provided at the local geographic level communities will be able to determine what services are needed by residents of their community.

Local Cleveland community groups that participated in this enumeration, for example the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, held a service fair to increase the number of homeless people counted.

During consideration of the Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2002 Congressman Kucinich and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY) offered an amendment to ensure the Census Bureau is able to release a special report in the fall containing the Enumeration programs. Unfortunately the amendment failed 209-217.

Congressman Kucinich has also sent letters to the Acting Director of the Census requesting the release of this information. In addition, the Congressman also contacted the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Census and requested a hearing on the Census 2000 information of people living on the streets and in homeless shelters.

Columbia Park/Olmsted Township Senior Mobile Home Park

When Congressman Kucinich was contacted by several of the 2,000 residents of the Columbia Park manufactured home community in Olmsted Township about a steep rent increase, he investigated the situation. He found out that an out-of-state business partnership purchased the park as an investment and raised rents by 17-25%, amounts which seniors on fixed incomes would have a hard time meeting. Because Columbia Park is protected as a “55 and Older Community” under the federal Fair Housing Act, the Congressman sent counsel to meet with the residents and learned that the residents were not organized into a renter’s organization. Concerned that the new owners were trying to break up the community for commercial development in the near future and leaving hundreds or thousands of seniors without viable housing options, Congressman Kucinich called in the Cleveland Tenants Organization whose executive director Mike Foley met with the residents and helped them form the Columbia Park Homeowners and Tenants Organization to fight the rent increases. The Congressman helped the group develop a strategy to combat the increases, including the largest rent strike in the history of the State of Ohio and the development of a plan for the residents to purchase the property with the backing of the county if necessary. While the case is still pending, Congressman Kucinich is closely monitoring the situation and is prepared to take any action necessary to protect the seniors of Columbia Park.

Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance

Congressman Kucinich closely monitors the status of affordable housing in Cleveland through his participation in the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance. The Congressman helped organize CAHA in 1997 when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development began to switch from project-based subsidies which guarantee that affordable housing units will be available, to tenant-based subsidies which provide vouchers to qualified tenants but do not guarantee that the tenants will find a willing landlord to accept the voucher. CAHA meets monthly at HUD’s Cleveland office to monitor the status of various low income housing programs, the quality of housing, and the maintenance and availability of affordable units to meet the needs of low-income people in Ohio’s 10th District and the Greater Cleveland area. CAHA consists of agencies and elected officials of the federal, county, and local governments; senior organizations; low-income housing tenants and advocates; social service agencies; homeless organizations; and building owners and managers.

Affordable Housing for Cleveland

In December 1999, Congressman Kucinich also announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded two federal grants aimed at helping Cleveland area residents find affordable rental housing. The first grant, of $1.3 million, was to the PVA Circle of Homes for five year funding for a total of 75 Section 8 housing assistance vouchers under HUD’s Mainstream Program. This program enables persons with disabilities (both elderly and non-elderly) to rent affordable private housing of their choice. The second grant, of $655,000, was awarded to the Cuyahoga Housing Authority for a total of 100 Section 8 vouchers to promote family unification among eligible families so that children will not be separated from their parents because of lack of housing.

In the 107th Congress, Congressman Kucinich is a co-sponsor of H.R. 2349, the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act. This bill would place surplus funds generated by the Federal Housing Authority into a trust fund upon which states and non-profits could draw in order to build affordable housing and provide rental subsidies for low- and middle-income individuals. Today, over five million Americans are paying more than half their incomes on housing or living in substandard housing. This critical legislation would ease the housing crisis for citizens in the Cleveland area and all over our country.


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