February 12, 2020

HUD: Bus Tour Arrives in Riverside for Faith and Public-Private Partnerships Discussion

Grove Church visit part of nationwide “Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour”

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson today visited Riverside, California, as part of his “Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour.” Secretary Carson participated in a roundtable discussion about affordable housing and toured The Grove Village, which consists of four 600 square feet cottages on church property that have been renovated through business donations and volunteer efforts. The units house families who were at risk of homelessness.

“The power of the faith-based community can be seen here, through the united effort to care for our vulnerable neighbors and provide a safe place to call home in the Grove Village,” Secretary Carson said. “As California experiences a homeless crisis and rising housing prices, churches are on the frontlines as places of refuge for those who need it most. Thank you to these families for allowing me into their homes and to the Riverside Community for the compassion you have shown for all of God’s people.”

“God has called us to love all people and not only to love but to care for the most vulnerable,” said Tom Lance, Pastor Emeritus of Grove Church. “The Grove is committed to ‘Bring God Glory’ in all that we do and when churches and faith communities step out and do whatever they can to eliminate homelessness and care for all those involved we believe that brings God glory. We will do whatever we can to work with all those in Riverside who want to stand together and do what this great city has always done and that is ‘work together’ and continue making Riverside a place where everyone feels welcome, safe and has hope for the future.”

“Secretary Carson and HUD are leading efforts to find innovative solutions to the housing and homeless crisis, and this led them to Riverside,” said City of Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey. “We are proud to share the successes and the lessons learned from our first steps in the housing journey with the faith-based community. The Grove Village happened in spite of the regulatory barriers that are inhibiting affordable housing development, and this success cannot be repeated unless these barriers are broken down.”

During the roundtable discussion with faith and community leaders, Secretary Carson announced a new proposed rule issued by the Department that would eliminate burdensome requirements that unfairly imposed unique regulatory burdens only on religious organizations. HUD’s proposed rule is part of the Administration’s effort to ensure that our Nation’s religious organizations are treated equally by the Federal government.

The “Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour” is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the Chair of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing established in June 2019. The Council’s eight Federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels—State, local, and Tribal—and private-sector and non-profit stakeholders on ways to increase our country’s housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing.

Secretary Carson’s “Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour” will run through June 2020. For more information on Council’s work and tour locations, please visit https://www.hud.gov/DrivingAffordableHousing or follow along via social media using #DrivingAffordableHousing.

This post was originally published here.