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Congressman Alex X. Mooney Introduces the Community Assistance for Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act

WASHINGTON – Reps. Alex X. Mooney and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) introduced H.R. 5648, the Community Assistance for Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, to allow drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities to be eligible for Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mortgage insurance. This legislation will provide financing for drug and alcohol treatment facilities to help substance abuse victims recover without costing taxpayers.

This legislation is endorsed by the American Health Care Association, National Rural Health Association, and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“While West Virginia has faced significant addiction challenges, no corner of America has been immune from this epidemic.” said Rep. Alex X. Mooney. “That’s why I am proud to introduce this common-sense, bipartisan legislation with Rep. Brittany Pettersen to provide financing for new treatment facilities or improvement of current facilities in West Virginia and across the U.S.—all without costing taxpayers.”

“There simply are not enough treatment centers in the United States to aid everyone struggling with substance use disorders, even if they are desperate for help,” said Rep. Brittany Pettersen. “There aren’t even 50 beds available per 100,000 adults in the U.S., and in rural areas this number drops to less than 30. My mom finally got the help she needed after struggling with addiction for 30 years, but too many people aren’t as lucky. This bipartisan bill is a huge step in our fight against the opioid epidemic, financing improvements and new construction for drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities across the country.”

“We thank Representatives Mooney and Pettersen for introducing legislation that will give nursing homes access to important resources to assist residents with mental health issues. At the same time, it will provide nursing homes the opportunity to improve and modernize their infrastructure to better prepare for natural disasters.  This is the type of supportive policy we need to meaningfully invest in our long-term care system, and we look forward to supporting its passage.”Clif Porter, Senior VP of Government Relations, American Health Care Association

“Rural communities are particularly hard hit by the lack of available healthcare facilities and staff. By extending FHA mortgage insurance to drug and alcohol treatment facilities we can increase treatment options, save the lives of thousands of friends and neighbors and spare countless American families the pain of losing a loved one to addiction.” – Alan Morgan, CEO, National Rural Health Association.

“Access to safe and affordable residential care facilities is critical for American families, and HUD plays an important role in financing these projects across the country. MBA supports the CARE Act, which will increase affordable financing opportunities by adding behavioral and mental health facilities to HUD’s lending portfolio.”                                                                     – Bill Killmer, Senior Vice President/Chief Lobbyist, Mortgage Bankers Association

For background, mortgage insurance protects the lender if the borrower defaults on payments. In many circumstances, particularly in high interest rate environments, FHA can offer more attractive mortgage insurance rates than private sector alternatives. FHA’s Section 232 mortgage insurance program currently only covers residential/long-term care facilities. This program historically brings in more in premiums than it pays out in claims, meaning it does not cost taxpayer dollars. The CARE Act will allow drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities to participate in FHA’s Section 232 mortgage insurance program.