US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says the nation is facing a crisis when it comes to low-income housing. He points to national estimates that at least 500,000 Americans are homeless.

Feingold is proposing legislation that expands public assistance program for low-income families. The bill includes funding to help low-income families buy homes and adds 100,000 Section 8 vouchers across the US.

Feingold says the voucher program is a key component of his proposal, because current government funding is falling short of the demand for that assistance. The Wisconsin Democrat says most cities already have long waiting lists for Section 8 vouchers and many have had to close off their programs while they try to catch up.

The proposal also includes $200 million in grants to fund crime prevention programs in low-income areas.

Feingold discussed the legislation Tuesday afternoon during a press conference at a Madison housing complex. 

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:00)

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