More than 800 residents of Inglewood, Lennox, and the surrounding areas gathered at Inglewood High School on Saturday to participate in Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ (CA-43) Housing and Homelessness Community Forum. As the Chairwoman of the powerful U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Congresswoman Waters is a national leader on addressing complex housing policy issues and has oversight responsibility of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and other federal housing agencies. Congresswoman Waters led the first of its kind community forum – which was expected to last only two hours – for more than five hours, providing 43rd District residents with the opportunity to ask important questions and voice their concerns about a wide range of issues, including: homeownership, first-time homebuyer programs, Section 8, the Veterans Administration Supportive Housing (VASH) program, an update on homelessness, the impact of County Measure H, gentrification, low-income housing development, landlord/tenant rights and responsibilities, and eviction and foreclosure prevention.
“I am so pleased to have hosted such an informative and productive discussion here in our community about the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in America and my efforts to address these complex issues in Washington,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters. “The lack of affordable housing and rising rents are leading to resident displacement in communities across the country. In Los Angeles County alone, there are nearly 59,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. It is imperative that we not only push for legislative solutions, but that we also do everything in our power to better inform and equip our community with the tools and resources they need to navigate these issues.”
During the event, Congresswoman Waters unveiled and provided a comprehensive overview of her landmark legislation, H.R. 1856, The Ending Homelessness Act, which will provide $13 billion in emergency funding to end homelessness in America. She also discussed her leadership in the House to protect affordable housing and make investments in affordable housing infrastructure.
Congresswoman Waters was joined by local elected officials and housing advocates who gave robust presentations, answered questions from concerned citizens, and provided resources to the members of community, including: Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts; Malcolm Bennett, Realtor and President of the Minority Apartment Owners Association; Lori Gay, President & CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County; Damien Goodman, Founder of Housing is a Human Right; Myk’l Williams, Manager, Homeless Initiatives, Los Angeles County Development Authority; Sheyda Joolharzadeh, Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles; Teresa (Terry) DeCrescenzo, MSW, Director of Social Services, Centinela Hospital Medical Center; Derek Steele, activist and member of the Uplift Inglewood Coalition; Leona Rollins, Director of Counseling, the Housing Rights Center; and, Silvia Delgadillo, Supervisor of the Housing Investment & Finance Division, Los Angeles County Development Authority.