Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressmen Cohen and Hill Introduce Housing Accountability Act

July 23, 2019
Press Release
Holds owners of low-income housing accountable for living conditions

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) and French Hill (AR-02) today introduced the Housing Accountability Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill to improve the quality and management of Section 8 and subsidized housing. 

Congressman Cohen made the following statement: 

“Lack of effective oversight by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development results in some property managers failing to maintain safe and healthy living conditions for their tenants. This bill provides for twice-yearly surveys of residents to determine the physical condition and maintenance of their homes. It also calls for a review of HUD housing to assure the best use of taxpayer dollars.” 

Congressman Hill made the following statement: 

“In my home state of Arkansas, we have seen a direct relationship between investing in communities and fostering economic revitalization with job creation and increased personal opportunity. But far too often, we see some landlords who accept government subsidies for public housing failing to provide safe and healthy living conditions for Arkansas families. I’ve toured public housing in central Arkansas and seen how this neglect can be detrimental for struggling families who feel they have no recourse to report issues with their rental property. Holding property owners responsible for providing a sanitary living environment will help put more Arkansas families back on a path to prosperity.” 

In 2015, local and federal investigators found deplorable living conditions at several federally subsidized properties owned by the Global Ministries Foundation (GMF) in Memphis, Tennessee, and in Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, Congressman Cohen wrote to then-Secretary of the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro regarding conditions at the Warren Apartments owned by GMF and was pleased to see HUD intervene, abate the Housing Assistance Payment contracts with GMF and relocate the tenants.  

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced a companion measure earlier this year.