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Waters Statement on Reports that Thousands in Project Roomkey Housing Could Be Kicked Out onto Streets Due to Lack of Funding

December 2, 2020
Press Release

Waters Statement on Reports that Thousands in Project Roomkey Housing Could Be Kicked Out onto Streets Due to Lack of Funding

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement following reports that thousands of people finding shelter in California through Project Roomkey could soon lose the roof over their heads.

“Project Roomkey has played a significant role in providing individual housing accommodations in hotels and motels for people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic to help slow the spread of COVID-19, protect our most vulnerable, and lower the stress on our health care system. The program has helped do this by providing shelter to certain individuals at high-risk for COVID-19 and reducing their exposure to individuals who have tested positive for or are suspected to have contracted the virus.

“While Project Roomkey has proven to be successful in its mission, recent reports suggesting that approximately 5,000 people who are staying in hotels across our state and city may soon be back on the street is extremely disconcerting. The people benefitting from this critical program could once again be confronted with homelessness due to a lack of funding and avoidable administrative red tape that President Trump and Congressional Republicans refuse to address.

“The Heroes Act, which House Democrats passed over 200 days ago, provides financial resources and the regulatory relief needed to ensure programs like Project Roomkey can continue to serve people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic which has already claimed over 270,000 lives. The work of our front-line service providers is commendable, and we must not allow their hard work keeping people safe during this time to be in vain. 

“As Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, I convened a hearing in September on the need to pass the Heroes Act and provide our states with financial assistance to empower them to defend against the pandemic, provide for their residents, and sustain frontline workers like first responders, but Republicans have stood in the way of progress at every turn. Instead of providing relief, President Trump derailed negotiations, called governors names, and paraded around the country holding super-spreader events.

“I will not tolerate Republican obstruction and I will not allow my constituents, or anyone else in this country for that matter, to suffer at the hands of Republicans who are doing everything in their power to prevent COVID-19 response legislation from being signed into law. I will continue to work relentlessly until relief is delivered to all Americans.”