January 13, 2020
WASHINGTON – The following is a joint, first-person statement by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) and U.S. Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (Mo.), Chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance, regarding a just-approved agreement with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to address the ongoing housing crisis affecting low-income residents in Wellston, Mo., who receive federal housing assistance.
“Today, we are pleased to announce the approval of HUD Tenant Protection Vouchers to at-risk Wellston residents and we wish to thank the tenants for their patience and understanding throughout this difficult and prolonged process.
On December 4, 2019, we made a bipartisan request to HUD on behalf of the Wellston community, asking Secretary Carson to consider both project-based and tenant-based vouchers in order to ensure the greatest number of housing options for the tenants in Wellston.
In addition, over the last year, many local groups--the City of Wellston, St. Louis County, the tenant organization, and Wellston community organizations--have been working to find alternatives to demolition that would allow the preservation of affordable housing in Wellston for the current tenants who want to remain, especially in consideration of the severe shortage of affordable housing in this region.
These vouchers are essential to make redevelopment and relocation successful for our tenants. While this is a victory for Wellston residents, we are very aware that much work remains to be done to ensure that no tenant is left behind in our efforts to ensure safe, affordable, and stable housing; not just in Wellston, but across Missouri as well.
We will continue to strive together to achieve this goal with local communities, housing advocates, state and local agencies, and HUD. We wish to thank HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, his staff, and all of the stakeholders involved who have worked to achieve this major step forward.”