FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 10, 2013
CONTACT: Amy Clark, email@example.com, 202.662.1530 x227
Statement of National Low Income Housing Coalition President & CEO Sheila Crowley on President Barack Obama’s Budget Request
Ms. Crowley Available for Comment on Housing Provisions in Budget
Today, President Obama sent a budget request to Congress that would improve funding levels for key HUD low income housing programs over FY13 funding levels, but does not meet the need. For public and assisted housing programs that serve some of the nation’s poorest seniors, people with disabilities, and families, the President’s budget would restore these programs to pre-sequestration levels. The President would also increase funding for HUD’s homeless assistance programs. I appreciate the intent to protect housing aid for those who currently receive it, but would hope Congress can achieve a more adequate level of funding in the final budget.
The President calls for $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund on the mandatory side of the budget, as he has in his last four budgets. It is disappointing that the budget proposal once again does not identify the offset for the $1 billion. Moreover, the shortage of rental housing for the poorest Americans is so acute that much more is needed. Today, the shortage stands at 7.1 million rental homes. The budget document says $1 billion in the National Housing Trust Fund would produce approximately 16,000 new homes. The President’s 2010 plan to end homelessness requires a much more robust commitment to the National Housing Trust Fund.
I agree that the fiscal challenges our nation faces necessitate prudent use of federal resources. There is funding available that can be used to end homelessness and solve our country’s greatest housing challenges within the existing budget; we just have to be smarter about how we use our resources. By modifying the mortgage interest deduction and using the revenue from modification to fund the National Housing Trust Fund, we can make mortgage interest tax breaks more targeted to middle and lower income homeowners while increasing investment in additional housing that will help end homelessness. I look forward to working with Members of Congress to ensure that common sense changes are made to housing and tax policy so that America’s lowest income residents can have access to affordable and decent homes.