ITHACA, N.Y. — Rep. Tom Reed is pushing back at the claim that he hasn’t done enough to secure federal funds for affordable housing in Ithaca.

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In an email on Friday, a Reed spokesperson said the Congressman — who represents the Ithaca area — has pushed for budget increases for affordable housing programs. (Last week, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick appeared at Reed’s Washington, D.C., office to call on him to reverse federal housing cuts.)

“Reed continues to champion affordable housing programs because he cares about people throughout the 23rd Congressional District,” said Reed spokesperson Brandy Brown in an email.

See related: Rep. Reed spokesperson responds to Mayor Myrick’s criticisms

Brown pointed to three specific actions taken by the Congressman to increase federal support for affordable housing programs:

1 — Reed, Brown said, voted against an amendment that would have cut funding to the CBDB and HOME programs. (A letter delivered by Myrick to Reed’s office called on the Congressman to pledge to try to reverse these cuts; city officials say steep declines in these programs, as shown below, have hurt Ithaca’s ability to fight its affordable housing crisis.)

2 — Brown said Reed had supported the House version of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill, which held funding at the same level as last year.

3 — Additionally, Reed has “cosponsored legislation to improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2015, which incentivizes the creation of affordable housing and economic development in low-income communities,” according to Brown.

Brown’s email comes as a follow-up to a debate last week, in which Reed and Myrick appeared at odds over Reed’s record in fighting for federal affordable housing funding for Ithaca.

Originally, when asked about federal housing funding for Ithaca, Reed’s campaign pointed to the Congressman’s letters of support for funding for Ithaca projects. Myrick said that was insufficient.

“When you’re in Congress, your vote is what matters,” Myrick said, calling Reed’s letters of support “lip service.”

“(Reed) consistently votes against our interest and I want to know how he will vote this time.”

Myrick was not immediately available on Monday to respond to Brown’s latest email, but we’ll update this story if he does so.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.