WASHINGTON, DC - Senate Republicans approved a tax plan today that, if enacted, would harm millions of the lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other at-risk populations in need of federal investments to help them afford a roof over their heads. With this vote, Republicans in Congress are one step closer to providing massive, unpaid-for tax cuts for the rich and powerful, draining resources needed for other critical investments, including affordable housing.
Our country needs to make a major investment in repairing and rebuilding homes and communities devastated by recent disasters, and in solutions to the rental housing crisis impacting communities across the country. Passing this tax bill, the benefits of which are vastly skewed towards making the wealthy even wealthier and the harm of which will be most felt by the lowest income people, is grossly irresponsible.
The Senate tax plan not only fails to make any new investments to address the nation’s growing scarcity of affordable rental homes for America’s poorest families, but it would lead to deep funding cuts to existing affordable housing programs, threatening to worsen the severity of an affordable housing crisis that impacts every state and community.
The non-partisan Joint Center on Taxation released an estimate on November 30 that, even accounting for any potential economic growth that may come from tax cuts, the Republican plan would increase the national debt by $1 trillion over a decade. Increasing the debt in this way will almost certainly force deep spending cuts in the future to important domestic programs that help poor families meet their basic needs, including affordable housing and community development programs, as well as safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The Congressional Budget Office reports that the tax bill would also trigger automatic spending cuts to many vital programs, including the national Housing Trust Fund, a program that makes rental homes affordable for people with the greatest and most acute housing needs.
Nationally, there are just 35 homes affordable and available to every 100 of the lowest income families. Due to chronic underfunding of critical affordable housing programs, just one in four low income households in need receives any assistance. The rest, more than 8 million extremely low income households, live on the cusp of homelessness – most paying more than half of their incomes on rent – or they are one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have no homes at all.
Instead of addressing one of the greatest barriers to economic success for families struggling to get by – the lack of decent, accessible and affordable homes for the lowest income people – the Senate bill will make it even harder for the poorest families in America to have an affordable place to call home.
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.