U.S. Representative

Dennis A. Ross

Proudly Serving Florida's 15th Congressional District



Private Investment in Housing Act Passes the House of Representatives

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Washington, July 14, 2015 | comments
Today, I delivered the following statement on the House Floor before voting with my colleagues to pass, H.R. 2997,  the Private Investment in Housing Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation that would provide the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the authority to establish a demonstration program and enter into budget-neutral, performance-based agreements that result in the reduction in energy and water costs for multi-family housing.



to watch my Floor speech.

My speech as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. Speaker,

“Currently, HUD spends more than $7 billion in annual energy and water costs.

“In our current fiscal environment, we must look to new technology and for innovative solutions to generate savings for both taxpayers and the federal government.

“Today, I am proud to ask my colleagues to join me in supporting bipartisan H.R. 2997, the Private Investment in Housing Act.

“This legislation will establish a demonstration project that will encourage private sector entities to retrofit and modernize a limited number of HUD multi-family housing units at absolutely no cost to taxpayer dollars.

“This legislation is necessary because non-profits and other entities that focus on financing for affordable housing are unable to enter into contractual agreements to retrofit HUD multi-family housing units.

“It does not involve any risk to the federal government or the taxpayer. In fact, investors take the first loss position on energy upgrades.

“If energy savings from these projects are not realized after private entities enter into these contracts, the federal government does not pay - period.

“If savings through these projects are achieved, they would lower HUD’s energy expenditures by as much as 20 percent, creating tremendous savings for the taxpayer.

“Private entities who take on the risk to retrofit these units will receive a $1 return for every $1 in cost-savings that are verified by a third party.

“The demonstration program created by this legislation would help improve up to 20,000 HUD-assisted apartments receiving project-based rental assistance, supportive housing for the elderly, or supportive housing for persons with disabilities.

“This demonstration project will help a limited number of people at first in Florida and across the country, however over time, once it is a proven success, more of the 48,621 eligible properties in the State of Florida, and the 900 units in my district alone may be able to benefit – at no expense to the taxpayer.

“In addition to the direct economic benefits to taxpayers, these upgrades will bring meaningful health and other benefits to the families living in the buildings, creating a healthier and safer environment for residents. 

“I want to thank my colleagues Representative Jim Himes (CT-4), Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5), and Representative John Delaney (MD-6) for their support on this legislation.

“I also want to thank Enterprise Community Partners for their support of this legislation and for their support of projects that encourage a private-public partnership in affordable housing.

“With that, I ask that you join me in supporting this legislation to engage the private sector to help HUD reduce its more than $7 billion in current annual energy and water spending.”

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