At Hearing on HUD Budget, Senator Murray Emphasizes Urgency of Strong Federal Investments to Tackle Housing & Homelessness Crisis

***WATCH: Senator Murray’s remarks and exchange with Secretary Fudge***


Washington, D.C.Today, at a Senate Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing on President Biden’s FY24 budget request for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, emphasized the importance of passing timely bipartisan spending bills that invest in making our country stronger. During her questioning, Senator Murray underscored that tackling the national housing and homelessness crises is foundational to supporting families, building a strong economy, and maintaining American competitiveness.


“Families back in Washington state, and across the country, are counting on us to work together to get our communities the resources they need to grow, thrive, and compete on the world stage,” began Senator Murray. “And when it comes to keeping folks safe, setting families up for success, and strengthening our country—that really starts with making sure everyone has a roof over their head, and no one is left on the streets or in the cold. Because it is all too common for families in every part of this country to be terrified about what will happen to them—to their kids—the moment they can’t make rent or cover their mortgage.”


At Thursday’s hearing, Senator Murray recounted just how dire the housing and homelessness crises are in Washington state and the entire country. Senator Murray made clear that a whole-of-government approach is critical in order to make progress on this front—noting how various HUD programs make a real and tangible difference in the lives of millions of families.


“As I wrote to President Biden, we need a whole of government approach here. And, let’s be clear, whole of government, includes this subcommittee. That’s why I fought to make critical housing investments in our bipartisan funding package last year—and I want to see us build on that progress with funding to tackle the root causes of this crisis,” said Senator Murray. “That means increasing the supply of quality housing—and preserving our existing public housing, investing in under resourced neighborhoods, and incentivizing changes to zoning laws. It also means providing rental assistance to help people keep a roof over their head, and assistance for first time home buyers.”


“These investments pay off for our country in so many ways: they help families build wealth, they help provide safety and stability so kids can focus and thrive in school, and adults can focus on their jobs, education, and more,” stated Senator Murray. “They strengthen our families, our communities, and our economy.”


In her questioning, Senator Murray asked HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to explain how the newly proposed spending cuts by House Republicans would undercut efforts across the country to address the worsening housing and homelessness crises.


“Secretary Fudge, House Republicans have proposed cutting non-defense discretionary programs to Fiscal Year 2022 levels. Can you speak to how such cuts would harm HUD’s programs and your department’s ability to increase the supply of affordable housing, reduce the cost of housing, and support people experiencing homelessness?” asked Senator Murray.


Secretary Fudge went on to underscore just how devastating it would be to revert to FY22 spending levels, noting the severe lack of federal investment in key HUD programs over the long term and how imposing additional cuts now would only exacerbate a rapidly-growing housing crisis.


“Thank you, Secretary Fudge,” said Senator Murray in closing. “We have a housing and homelessness crisis in Washington state—so I want everyone to understand just how serious and devastating these kinds of cuts would be, not just for my state, but the entire country.”