President's State of the Union Fails to Address Need for Affordable Housing

President Trump gave on January 20 his first State of the Union address. Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, issued a statement in response stating, “In his State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump failed to address the urgent need in America for more decent, safe, affordable homes for the lowest income seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, low-wage working families, and victims of recent disasters.”

“By noting his intent to ‘lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity,’” Ms. Yentel stated, “the president previewed the administration’s planned efforts to cut federal housing benefits to low income families by imposing arbitrary work requirements and other ineffective and costly measures. One of the biggest barriers to economic prosperity for the lowest income families is a lack of decent, accessible and affordable homes. Yet the Administration will soon propose legislation to cut housing assistance for low income residents by changing rent structures and imposing new punitive requirements. The president’s pending proposals are more about punishing low income people than helping them.”

“These proposals could leave even more low income people without a stable home, making it harder for them to climb the economic ladder and live with dignity,” Ms. Yentel continued. “Work requirements do not create the jobs and opportunities needed to lift families out of poverty, but instead could cut struggling families off from the very housing stability and services that make it possible for them to find and maintain jobs. If the president is serious about helping lift struggling families out of poverty, he should focus on expanding – not slashing - investments in affordable homes, as well as increased wages, job training, education, and childcare.”

Ms. Yentel also commented on the president’s failure to outline his plan to address the long-term housing needs of low income survivors of recent disasters, his exclusion of affordable housing from his infrastructure proposal, and the need for Congress to lift spending caps equally for defense and domestic priorities, including affordable housing and community development.

Read Ms. Yentel’s full statement on the State of the Union Address at: