Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Montco lawmaker proposes ‘equitable’ housing solution

Nelson authors CHAMP Act as ‘shift ... in services to our unhoused neighbors’

- By Rachel Ravina rravina@thereporte­ronline.com

Legislatio­n to make affordable housing more equitable is top of mind for state Rep. Napoleon Nelson.

The Democratic lawmaker representi­ng the 154th District in Montgomery County is working on state legislatio­n that would do just that. Known as the CHAMP Act, it seeks to restore a better balance between municipal and county government­s, ensuring each municipali­ty supplies a certain amount of affordable housing units and shelters for its residents in need.

“I don’t want it to be flashy legislatio­n. I don’t want it to be eye-catching legislatio­n. I want it to be what it’s supposed to be, which is a real shift in the way we provide services to our unhoused neighbors,” Nelson said in a recent interview.

Nelson, 44, said he took inspiratio­n from a California state senator, who previously introduced similar legislatio­n. While it did not pass through the state government out West, Nelson hoped for a more favorable outcome in the Keystone State, with the CHAMP Act laying a new foundation to create more accountabi­lity.

Classified as HB 2098, the state legislatio­n formally introduced on Tuesday amends the existing Pennsylvan­ia Affordable Housing Act to implement the “municipal housing obligation program,” according to the Pennsylvan­ia General Assembly’s website.

Along with Nelson, the bill was co-sponsored by nearly two dozen legislator­s, with Democratic State Reps. Melissa Cerrato, D-151st Dist.; Nancy Guenst, D-152nd Dist., and Ben Sanchez, D-153rd Dist. as the Montgomery County contingent.

Rising homelessne­ss

The legislatio­n comes as the county grapples with rising

 ?? ?? Rep. Napoleon Nelson
Rep. Napoleon Nelson

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