“I applaud the President’s vision for the future, especially his emphasis on assuring our children have the best possible education,” said NLIHC President Sheila Crowley in a press release dated January 26. “But children cannot make the most of what their schools have to offer if their families lack safe and stable homes. I hope that the President intends to include affordable housing in the list of infrastructure improvements and to spare safety net housing programs from the spending freeze.”
According to the NLIHC press release, the National Housing Trust Fund is an infrastructure program that will reduce the shortage of affordable rental homes, create thousands of jobs, and bring immediate gains to national, state and local economies.
NLIHC noted that it is possible to invest in affordable rental housing while also reducing the budget deficit through a restructuring of the mortgage interest deduction. By changing the deduction to a credit for low and middle income homebuyers, the savings could be used to reduce the deficit and capitalize the National Housing Trust Fund. In this way, the United States could strengthen its economy, protect its most vulnerable citizens, and create the conditions necessary for children to excel.
A copy of the press release can be found at: nlihc.org/press/releases/1-26-11
The full text of the State of the Union address can be found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/25/remarks-president-state-union-address