DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Yvette D. Clarke
Sent By:
Jaime.Cobham@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

In the wake of the Financial Crisis of 2007, the US faces an affordable housing crisis unseen since before the New Deal Era. While the economy has grown steadily since the Great Recession, the benefits of this boom have not made housing any more affordable
for working- and middle-class Americans. Despite the growing need for housing solutions, the housing market disproportionately favors luxury developments. If we fail to take decisive action now to directly address the inequities in the housing market, cities
will become exclusively expensive for the overwhelming majority of Americans.

The White House has chosen to compound the plight of those trying to find affordable housing solutions by eliminating critical funding sources for necessary development. In the FY21 budget, the Trump Administration has eliminated the Community Development
Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Programs draining nearly $5 billion from community development. Making matters worse, the budget requests no additional funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund opting to convert 30,000 public housing units to
public-private partnerships through the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. Taken together these budgetary decisions will leave the public with fewer options for affordable housing and increasingly vulnerable to malicious actors in the housing market.

Please join Rep. Clarke by signing a FY21 Appropriations letter in support of affordable housing programs under attack by the Trump Administration. This letter will advocate for the appropriations in Rep. Clarke’s Hardest Hit Housing Act, which provides
the following:

  • $4 billion in annual supplemental funding over 5-years for public housing authorities that own or manage more than 10,000 units;
  • $5 million in annual supplemental funding over 5-years for foreclosure assistance and mitigation programs in the 15 hardest-hit metropolitan statistical areas; and
  • 100,000 new Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers over a 5-year period for housing authorities that administer 10,000 or more vouchers.

The deadline to sign on to this letter will be COB TODAY.

If you have any questions about the letter, the Hardest Hit Housing Act, or would like to sign on in support, please feel free to contact Jaime Cobham (Jaime.Cobham@mail.house.gov) in my office at 202-225-6231.

 

 

Dear Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart,

We write to urge you to invest in affordable housing units, foreclosure mitigation, and prevention services in the cities that were hit the hardest by the 2007 housing crisis and remain deeply affected by continuous underfunding. We are specifically requesting
an additional $4 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund Grant Program, $5 million for the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program, and 20,000 incremental housing choice vouchers targeted towards jurisdictions facing the highest need. This funding
will help alleviate concerns felt by homeowners and renters in cities across the country, by making housing more affordable.

According to research by Freddie Mac, the amount of housing for families that make less than 50 percent of area median income has decreased by 60 percent over the past eight years. This has led to a shortage of 7.4 million homes for extremely low-income
individuals. In addition, more than 70 percent of these households spend most of their income on housing. Cities such as New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and Boston are particularly hit the hardest, and the waitlist for public housing can reach as high as 400,000
families in these cities. Therefore, we urge you to appropriate $4 billion to the Public Housing Capital Grant Fund Program to be used for capital activities eligible under 42 U.S.C. 1437g(d)(1) by public housing authorities that manage more than 10,000 units.

While the Great Recession is officially over, homeowners in some of our nation’s largest cities still struggle with its aftermath and the ongoing threat of home foreclosures. Many of these families could afford to remain in their homes if it were  not for predatory
practices by large banks and information asymmetries that make it hard for families to know how best to avoid foreclosure. The National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program (NFMCP) was launched in 2007 to address this need, and since its founding, has
provided services to more than two million clients in all 50 states. In fact, according to a 2016 report from NeighborWorks America, clients are nearly three times as likely to receive a loan modification, 70 percent more likely to remain current on their
mortgages, and receive an average reduction in payment of $4,980 per year among those that received loan modifications, resulting in $518 million in annual savings. These results are staggering and demonstrate the need to invest an additional $5 million in
NFMCP to provide mortgage foreclosure mitigation assistance to the 15 states with the highest rates of home mortgage defaults and foreclosures as of January 1, 2018.

Finally, we request that an additional 20,000 housing choice vouchers be made readily available for cities that are most in need. The housing choice voucher program aids low-income families to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing. Yet, according to
a March 2017 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the nation faces a shortage of 7.4 million affordable and available rental homes for the lowest-income renters. Large cities are particularly hard hit by these shortages, since they often
face the strongest demand for housing and the highest rents. We therefore request that 20,000 additional housing vouchers are issued to public housing agencies that administer 10,000 or more vouchers for rental assistance under 42 U.S.C. 1437f(o).

We appreciate your hard work in ensuring that all Americans can live in safe, sanitary, and affordable homes.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Economy, Family Issues

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