WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), the first Delaware senator in more than 40 years to serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee, successfully secured funding for key Delaware housing and transportation infrastructure priorities in the federal spending bill for Fiscal Year 2020, which passed Congress today. The bill includes funding for Amtrak, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, homeless assistance grants, and more.
“I’ve been working hard on the Appropriations Committee to ensure the final federal spending bill continues to include funding for critical Delaware priorities, like affordable housing and transportation infrastructure,” said Senator Coons. “I’m pleased that Republicans and Democrats were able to work together this year to fund programs that both sides of the aisle support and reject the President’s dangerous budget cuts. I’m looking forward to continue working with my colleagues to deliver for Delawareans up and down the state.”
The federal spending bill includes provisions that will directly benefit housing and transportation in Delaware:The bill increases funding for Amtrak to $2 billion, of which $700 million is for the Northeast Corridor that runs through Wilmington, Delaware. The bill also rejects the president’s proposal to eliminate the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) program, and instead includes $200 million to help address the maintenance backlog on the Northeast Corridor.This bill rejects the president’s dangerous budget proposal to cut $11.96 billion in important Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing programs at a time when Americans are experiencing skyrocketing rents, wage stagnation, and a shortage of affordable housing. The bill includes $1.35 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, $3.425 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, and $175 million for the HUD Choice Neighborhood grants, which benefit the Wilmington Housing Authority and REACH Riverside.The bill includes $2.77 billion for homeless assistance grants and rejects the president’s proposal to eliminate funding for new vouchers under the Department of Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH) program by including $40 million to support new rental vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness. This funding directly benefits the New Castle County Housing Authority and Delaware State Housing Authority.The bill provides $6.25 million in dedicated funding for the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) program, which supports safe and efficient navigation along waterways around the country, including the Delaware River.