Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) was honored late last month by NeighborWorks America at “A Celebration of Visionary Leaders” at the Federal Reserve Bank in Los Angeles.
NeighborWorks recognized Waters, who chairs the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, as a legislator who has long been a champion of affordable housing and homeownership, community revitalization and economic opportunity for all Americans. Waters represents communities such as Westchester in the 35th congressional district.
As a key member of the House-Senate conference committee that negotiated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Waters helped secure significant assistance for unemployed homeowners and communities suffering from foreclosures, according to NeighborWorks. The bill contains a provision the congresswoman authored to provide $1 billion in low-interest loans to help unemployed homeowners stay in their homes.
This funding is in addition to $2 billion that the Treasury Department is providing — at Waters’ insistence — to 17 states through its “Hardest Hit Fund,” the nonprofit organization noted.
Waters has also secured an additional $1 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which provides grants to states and localities to buy and rehabilitate abandoned and foreclosed properties. The NSP, which the congresswoman created, has already received $6 billion in funding.
“Because of my efforts, and the efforts of advocates such as yourselves, we have additional resources to deal with this foreclosure crisis — but not nearly enough given the scale of the problem,” Waters told NeighborWorks representatives. “California alone is at the epicenter of this crisis: of the total nationwide foreclosure activity that took place in July, 21 percent occurred in our state alone.”
Lori Gay of Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles was also recognized at the visionary leaders event.