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7/25/2007 - Sires Votes For More Affordable Housing, Transportation Improvements

Jul 24, 2007
Press Release
The Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill increases funding for important programs

For Immediate Release                                                                       Contact: Olga Alvarez
July 24, 2007         
(201) 222-2828     

(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Albio Sires voted today to continue funding for housing for seniors, the disabled, and the families who need it most.  The FY 2008 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill ensures a steady stream of funding for low-income Americans that could not otherwise afford adequate housing.  H.R. 3074 provides $50.7 billion in discretionary spending, which represents an increase from last year's funding level.

 "Housing is one of my top priorities because it gives families a place for their children to grow," said Congressman Sires. "The increased funding for housing will provide a better quality of life for many of our neighbors in the 13th Congressional district."

 In the areas of housing and community development, this bill provides for the renewal of all Section 8 vouchers and includes funding for 1,000 new, targeted vouchers for homeless veterans and non-elderly people with disabilities.  H.R. 3074 also funds important programs for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, rejecting the President's request to slash the budgets of these programs.  This bill helps communities too by increasing funding for the Community Development Block Program and other programs that revitalize distressed and obsolete public housing units.

 The Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill provides funding for highway infrastructure and mass transit, while generating thousands of jobs across all sectors of the economy in local communities.  This bill also provides $3.6 billion, $86 million above the current funding level for airport modernization, safety, and efficiency grants that ease congestion by building infrastructure for future traffic.

 In addition, H.R. 3047 provides $1.4 billion for Amtrak.  The funds preserve the passenger railway service so necessary for millions of commuters that work and live in Northern New Jersey.  

 In the 13th congressional district, the Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill provides:

  • $200,000 for the Hudson County Intermodal Station Pedestrian Bridge in Union City. This project enhances the flow and safety of 8,000 people a day and provides additional access points to the station.

  • $170,000 for the Redevelopment of the Koppers Coke Brownfield site in Kearny. This project turns the site into a two million square foot industrial park which has the potential of creating 2000 new jobs and substantial tax revenue for the county.

  • $500,000 for the Bridge Street, Clay Street, and Jackson Street Movable Bridges Rehabilitation in Essex County. These main crossings between Hudson an Essex County are more than 100 years old and in need of major rehabilitation.

 "Passenger safety in bridges, roadways, railways, and airports is essential, and we need to be vigilant.  Safety can only be ensured if infrastructure is properly maintained.  Adequate funding is necessary, and this bill allows us to do just that," said Congressman Sires.