Don't Miss the Editorial in the New York Times

On the day we find out that our own local paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, is planning to fade deeper into obscurity by laying off another few dozen reporters, the New York Times had a wonderful editorial about the sad state of affordable housing in America.  We have copied it for posterity on our member site (need a login as a member to access our member site.) Here is how the New York Times characterized it as:

These programs provide decent housing for about only a quarter of the low-income families who qualify for them. And with nearly nine million households teetering on the verge of homelessness, the country clearly needs more support for affordable housing, not less.

This is the basis for the affordable housing crisis in America that the New York Times references.  They make two solid recommendations that we certainly have advocated at the national level.  Those include funding the National Housing Trust in order to preserve and expand housing and the Affordable Housing Self Sufficiency Improvement Act which would allow major cost savings in the current programs.  The National Housing Trust is the single most important piece of legislation that needs some funding as soon as possible.  The trust was created, but with the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had no funding.  There are a few problems with the current AHSSIA bill, but the core legislation is solid and deserves passage.  From a city that saw 64,000 people apply for a housing voucher in 2011 and only 10,000 names were selected, Cleveland is the prime example of why we need additional resources for the Housing Authority and for private non-profits to develop new opportunities for low income workers to move out of the shelters. Most of the affordable housing waiting lists in Cleveland are 5 to 7 years long.  Paying the emergency housing costs of all of those individuals including food, shelter, and the additional health care costs is a lot more than the cost of providing a housing voucher. 

Brian Davis

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