The following appeared in The New Orleans Times-Picayune
You can view the original article here: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/08/rent_increases_new_orleans.html
The authors of "Why rents have gone through the roof in New Orleans and across the nation" make a strong and compelling case for the need to expand the national Housing Trust Fund to address the growing affordable housing crisis. The National Low Income Housing Coalition — which worked with members and partners throughout the country to create the trust fund in 2008 — is working to do exactly that.
While many cities and states have adopted much-needed programs to boost affordable housing, the breadth of rental unaffordability indicates that this is a national problem in need of a national solution.
Our United for Homes campaign seeks to recalibrate federal housing priorities by reforming the mortgage interest deduction and redirecting these resources to federal housing programs that serve the lowest income households, those with the greatest and clearest need. Modest reforms to the mortgage interest deduction would increase the benefit of homeownership to millions more low income homeowners, while also generating more than $20 billion dollars per year in savings to be redirected to critical affordable housing programs like the Housing Trust Fund.
There is another opportunity to expand the trust fund when Congress enacts comprehensive reforms to the housing finance system. The Johnson-Crapo Housing Finance Reform Act — approved by the Senate Banking Committee in 2014 — included a provision to boost funding to the Housing Trust Fund up to $3.5 billion annually. While many see this bill as the best starting point for what Congress may eventually enact, Congress must ensure that any housing finance reform legislation expands the trust fund.
Together, these opportunities would allow our nation to end homelessness and housing insecurity once and for all — without adding costs to taxpayers.
Diane Yentel President and CEO National Low Income Housing Coalition Washington