Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) circulated a new “Dear Colleague” letter for H.R. 1213, the Common-Sense Housing Improvement Act on December 11. The bill, which incorporates the United for Homes campaign proposal to reform the mortgage interest deduction and applies the majority of the savings to the National Housing Trust Fund, has 12 co-sponsors.
In the letter, Mr. Ellison references the recent Joint Center on Housing Studies report, America's Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs (see elsewhere in Memo). “It found that there has been a decrease in renters’ incomes and an increase in the rents demanded… We must invest in building new affordable rental housing to provide homes for all of our residents. The sequester and budget cuts have devastated funds for new housing production at the Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture. We need a new approach to raise needed revenue. My bill, the Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2013 (H.R.1213) would invest $200 billion over ten years to expand the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income families, veterans, people with disabilities and the elderly.”
Advocates should make sure their representatives see the Dear Colleague letter, and to urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 1213.