Brown discusses housing options

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Brown discusses housing options

Portsmouth Daily Times – Peggy Rice, executive director of the Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority, was selected to join a working conference call with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on creating sustainable housing and strong communities.

“We realize the pot is only so big, and we’re working with Sherrod Brown to ensure that as much of the money stays in the state of Ohio as possible. We don’t want our money that’s been alloted for the state of Ohio to go to California or Texas or anywhere else. We have people right here in our own county that need help with their housing,” she said.

Rice provided input and advice to Brown on a call Tuesday with leading housing advocates throughout Ohio. The working conference call explored strategies related to strengthening communities and improving housing options for low-income and middle-class families. She said the call was very productive and was encouraged by Brown’s willingness to listen to local comments and concerns.

“Sen. Brown has always been an advocate for housing and we’ve always been able to count on him,” Rice said.

Brown — a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs — co-sponsored the Community Regeneration, Sustainability and Innovation Act in 2009 to help communities develop plans to revitalize and use vacant and abandoned houses that diminish property values. He also co-sponsored the Livable Communities Act of 2010 to improve the coordination between housing, community development, transportation, energy and environmental policies to help create better places to live, work and raise families.

Brown said the Livable Communities Act would promote sustainable development and enable communities to cut traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption, protect farmland and green spaces, revitalize existing Main Streets and urban centers, spur economic development and create more affordable housing.

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