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Wyden Pushes to Boost Women-Owned Businesses, Increase Access to Affordable Housing

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
D-Oregon

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has filed two pieces of legislation that would boost opportunities for women and minority entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and increase access to affordable housing for low-income families.

One of Wyden’s amendments to the Senate spending bill would require financial institutions to provide data to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on why it’s good to lend to women and minority-owned businesses. That could help close the lending gap for businesses that struggle to have access to loans.

“Women entrepreneurs across the state of Oregon tell me they are having trouble accessing the financial resources they need to start up and run their small businesses,” Wyden said. “This amendment will help level the playing field by improving access to loans for women and minorities and by requiring lenders to take a hard look at the role they play in the existing lending gap.”

Wyden is an original cosponsor of the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act, which would require data reporting on lending to women and minority-owned businesses. Earlier this year, Wyden also wrote a letter to Senate appropriators encouraging full funding for the Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Centers program for fiscal year 2019.

The second of Wyden’s amendments would increase the number of affordable housing units available to low-income families by directing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to transfer expired Section 8 housing vouchers to new housing units.

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“Oregon has been hit hard by the nation’s housing crisis, and too many people can’t afford to put a roof over their head,” Wyden said. “This amendment will increase access to affordable housing for low-income families, making sure that all Oregonians can afford this basic human right.”

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