I am excited to announce that I am co-chairing the National Housing Conference’s Rental Housing Working Group with Buzz Roberts, President & CEO of the National Association for Affordable Housing Lenders. The National Housing Conference is getting ready for legislative success following the 2020 election. They are convening a series of working groups to make recommendations for the next major national housing legislation.
It has been over 50 years since our country came together to draft a comprehensive national housing act to address our housing crisis. It was proceeded by the National Housing Acts of 1937 and 1949. The National Housing Conference was a leader in all three of these initiatives. Given the nation’s growing problem of housing affordability, we are long overdue for comprehensive housing legislation.
In thinking about a path forward to improving our nation’s housing challenges, I believe that we need to invest in our public housing infrastructure; kick-start a massive production program and ensure that rental assistance makes housing opportunity a reality for those in need. To get there, here a few of my initial ideas:
- Establish Federal Housing Supply Goals with Interagency Responsibility (HUD, Treasury, USDA, VA, IHC, others) including an annual report to Congress and taskforce for cost reduction. This will force coordination and strategic planning across tax and budget programs.
- Move Section 8 & Section 9 funding to the mandatory side of the federal budget. This will end annual fights between discretionary budget priorities and underscore that housing is a human right.
- Establish a new standard Basic Necessities Deduction for extremely low income households to increase residual income. For extremely low-income families, especially those living in high-cost cities, not enough is left over each month to meet basic needs beyond shelter.
- Create a New Disposition Program for Underutilized Federally Controlled Property suitable for housing development. Post office redevelopment, infill on VA campuses and other examples already exist. Maximizing disposition opportunities will reduce development costs and create needed housing.
- Exempt Private Activity Bonds Used to Finance HUD-Assisted Housing from State Volume Cap. This would make preservation possible for public housing, 202s, 811s and other HUD-assisted housing program.
We are still developing these and other ideas for consideration. What are your BIG ideas? Email me
with your ideas here to improve and expand housing policy by March 6th.