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56 | Th e M Rep o RT O r i g i nat i O n s e r v i c i n g a na ly t i c s s e c O n da r y m a r k e t SECONDARY MARKET the latest SECONDARY MARKET HUd secretary Julián castro says america is in an "affordable Housing crisis About 7.7 million low-income households pay more than half their incomes in rent. U .S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro said America is in the midst of an "affordable housing crisis" at a gathering of civic leaders at the City Club of Chicago last month, according to the Chicago Sun Times. At a time when more and more people are moving into cities, Castro said there are 7.7 million low-income households that pay more than half their in- comes on rent and don't receive any government assistance. "That's roughly equal to the number of people living in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas combined," Castro said. "We are talking about folks who are spending so much of their pre- cious dollars just to keep a roof over their head that they can't invest in their children's educa- tion or begin to build up savings." According to Castro, there is a backlog of $26 billion in re- pairs at all of the nation's public housing. Due to this disrepair, the U.S. is losing 10,000 public housing units each year. "The cold, hard truth is that federal dollars are scarce and won't be able to fully address these issues any time soon," Castro said. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) was cre- ated to combat the backlog of deferred repairs. RAD allows public housing agencies to lever- age public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest in the public housing stock. This initiative also helps housing authorities and owners of as- sisted housing convert properties to long-term Section 8 contracts, which "allows them to better le- verage private debt and equity to improve their properties," accord- ing to Castro. HUD is constantly looking for "creative solutions" to help with this problem in public housing, he said. HUd releases Proposed 2016 Budget HUD's proposeD $4 billion fUnDing increase is aimeD at improving HoUsing for low-income families anD reDUcing Homelessness. U .S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro addressed the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations in February on the fiscal year 2016 budget proposal for HUD, emphasizing the commitment from the Obama administration to continue to provide affordable housing for families, seniors, disabled Americans, and others in need of resources. The proposed budget calls for a $4 billion increase in fund- ing, pushing the overall funding budget to $49.3 billion. According to Castro, $21 mil- lion of the increased budget will be used for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which would offer support to more than 2.4 million low-income families. The budget also includes plans to help 67,000 households by fulfilling the promise to restore vouchers lost to sequestration. "This support is critically needed. We recently released the findings of our nation's 2015 'Worst Case Housing Needs' Report to Congress,'" he said. "It found that 7.7 million low-income households that receive no hous- ing assistance pay more than 50

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