New Housing Bill Takes Aim At Global Ministries Foundation And HUD

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen and Republican Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida introduced a bill in the House Wednesday, aimed at holding low-income housing owners accountable for poor living conditions. The bill comes in the wake of the housing controversy concerning Memphis-based Global Ministries Foundation.

According to Rep. Cohen, the Housing Accountability Act of 2016 would require HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) to survey tenants twice a year, and issue penalties to those property owners who fail in the surveys. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced a similar bill in the U.S. Senate in July.

“I have been very disturbed by the deplorable living conditions many Memphians have experienced at Warren and Tulane Apartments,” said Congressman Cohen. “Congress must step in to prevent this from happening again in Memphis or anywhere else. This legislation would hold slumlords of low-income housing accountable for neglecting their properties and their tenants. By surveying tenants directly on property conditions, residents can report any issues directly to HUD without fear of reprisal from owners and managers who have been known to threaten to evict those who try to complain.”

“No matter someone’s income or socioeconomic status, no one deserves to live in squalor,” said Congressman Ross. “Everyone deserves to be treated fairly and to live in a safe, clean home. People from all backgrounds and of all ages are living in deplorable living conditions in subsidized housing, with fear of eviction, retaliation or inaction if they make any reasonable requests or complaints to their landlords or property managers. I am proud to join Rep. Cohen and Senators Rubio and Nelson in putting forth bipartisan legislation that will help families improve their living conditions, and give them the ability and strength to ensure their homes are up-to-code and well kept.”  

Global Ministries Foundation (GMF), a faith-based non-profit organization located in Memphis, Tennessee, receives Section 8 project-based rental assistance payments from the HUD. The non-profit has over 40 properties in its portfolio in Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina and New York.

Text of the Housing Accountability Act of 2016 can be found HERE.


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