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Local Leaders: House GOP Tax Plan Could Exacerbate Homelessness

California State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) discusses proposed tax bill ...

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: California State Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) discusses proposed tax bill in downtown San Diego on Monday, November 27, 2017.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut plan that would repeal several funding tools for affordable housing. San Diegans including local leaders gathered Monday to voice their opposition to the cuts.

At the event, Councilman Chris Ward said if passed by the Senate, the Republican legislation would have a negative effect on San Diego's housing market and worsen the homelessness crisis.

“Any reform or reduction to these programs would devastate affordable housing production, which is critical for working families, seniors, veterans and so many other disadvantaged communities," he said.

Video by Katie Schoolov

Sixty-three-year-old Gisela Mayworm became homeless when her husband lost his job in 2011.

“Anyone can be homeless," she said. "Anyone can face challenges.”

Today, Mayworm lives in Celadon, an affordable housing complex in downtown San Diego.

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Gisela Mayworm, who used to be homeless, stands outside her affordable housing complex in downtown San Diego on Monday November 27, 2017.

RELATED: 6 Possible Hurdles For The GOP Tax Plan

“2015, when I learned that I was moving here, I couldn’t believe it," she said. "And then my first Christmas, in my small studio, I was with my family.”

Mayworm’s studio is one of 10,500 affordable rental units in San Diego created or preserved with help from low-income housing tax credits. These credits would be repealed if the House tax reform plan passes in its current form.

That could further exacerbate San Diego’s homeless crisis, said State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego.

“There would be over 10,000 families in the city of San Diego that would be without a home today had it not been for this program that’s about to be cut," Hueso said. "This is a tragedy, and we need everybody’s help out there today to lift their phone and call your congressperson and demand for them not to support this measure.”

The Senate is hoping to pass its own tax overhaul plan in the coming weeks. If it does, the two versions would have to be reconciled before a final plan is sent to President Donald Trump.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut plan that would repeal several funding tools for affordable housing. San Diegans including local leaders gathered Monday to voice their opposition to the cuts.

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