Statement by the President: Fair Market Rent Level (9/12/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                    September 12, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I am pleased that, today, Secretary of the Department of Housing and
Urban Development Andrew Cuomo is announcing a plan to increase payment
levels for Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers.  Raising the fair market rent
level in certain difficult housing markets across the country will increase
the pool of apartments affordable to low-income renters by more than 1.4
million units nationwide.  This important initiative builds on the
significant progress the Vice President and I have made on affordable
housing - boosting homeownership to record levels, transforming public
housing, stemming the losses of privately-assisted housing, expanding the
role of secondary markets, and enlarging the supply of housing vouchers for
hard pressed working families.

     This decision to change rent guidelines to reflect a changing market
complements the 110,000 new housing vouchers secured through the efforts of
my Administration working with Congress in the past two years. These
housing vouchers subsidize the rents of low-income Americans, enabling them
to move closer to job opportunities ? many of which are being created far
from where these families live.   The new rent rule will give voucher
holders more choice and mobility than they have under current regulations.

     I urge Congress to again join us in making make more housing available
to hard-pressed working families, including those moving from welfare to
work, by funding my FY 2001 budget request for 120,000 new housing
vouchers.  In addition, our proposal for an innovative $50 million Housing
Voucher Success Fund would enhance the effect of this fair market rent
increase by helping families pay for the cost of transportation and other
housing search services they need to access a wider range of available
units.  These budget proposals would expand the supply of affordable
housing for the 5.4 million very-low income families who pay more than half
their incomes for housing or live in severely inadequate units, including a
growing number of families working full time.

     More than fifty years ago, the nation committed itself to the goal of
a "decent home and a suitable living environment for every American
family."  Today?s action brings us a step closer toward that goal.


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