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NLIHC Urges Congress to Oppose Bush Cuts to HUD Spending Bill
November 19, 2007
As Members Return Home for Thanksgiving, Advocates Push for Veto Override and Spotlight Growing Need for Affordable Housing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), along with its national network of partners and members, urges Members of Congress to support increased funding for federal housing programs and improved policies in the fiscal year 2008 (FY08) Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Related Agencies spending bill.
The president has said he will veto the $105.6 billion bill, which would provide modest yet critical funding for federal housing programs. The bill would provide $38.7 billion for HUD. The president wants to cut HUD funding by $3.1 billion. The bill also includes important policy guidance on a range of HUD programs.
As they head back to their districts for Thanksgiving, NLIHC reminds Members of Congress to consider the great and growing need in their communities for decent, affordable housing,” Sheila Crowley, president of NLIHC, said. “During this holiday season, the president’s veto threat couldn’t be more poorly timed. In this time of increased foreclosures and housing displacement, cutting the very programs that provide a backstop for those in need of housing makes no sense and could compound the problem by increasing displacement.”
NLIHC has analyzed the need for affordable housing for low income people in every Congressional district and provides snapshots through its “Congressional District Profiles.” Each profile illuminates several dimensions of housing affordability for renter households in each district, the surrounding area and the state. NLIHC’s Congressional District Profiles can be found here: www.nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=3810&id=61
With HUD reporting a substantial increase in unmet housing needs among the nation’s very low income renters, there is no doubt that the federal government needs to do more, not less. The number of households with “worst case housing needs” jumped from 5.18 million in 2003 to nearly 6 million in 2005, a 16 percent increase. HUD defines households with “worst case needs” as unassisted renters with incomes below 50 percent of area median income who live in substandard housing and/or pay more than half of their income for housing.
“The American people understand the need for affordable housing in their communities,” Crowley said. “The Bush Administration appears to be unconcerned about the most serious housing problems and wants to cut to the HUD programs that provide housing for low income seniors and people with disabilities. NLIHC and its partners will continue to push the Administration and the Congress to redirect their priorities.”
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY08 Transportation-HUD spending bill last week by a vote of 270-147, short of the two-thirds majority of those present needed to override a presidential veto. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill when it returns from recess the week of Dec. 3, but the Senate had passed an earlier version of the bill on Sept. 12 by a veto-proof vote of 88-7.
A national policy and advocacy organization, NLIHC is committed to pushing for key improvements in federal housing policy and funding that will help ensure decent, affordable housing within healthy neighborhoods for everyone. NLIHC is the only national organization whose sole mission is to end the affordable housing crisis in America. NLIHC is concerned about the housing circumstances of all low income people, but focuses most particularly on solving the housing problems of the lowest income people, including people who are homeless.
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)
727 15th Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005
202/662-1530; Fax 202/393-1973;www.nlihc.org
©2007 National Low Income Housing Coalition
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