NLIHC Responds to President's State of the Union Address

January 26, 2011
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"I applaud the President's vision for the future, especially his emphasis on assuring our children have the best possible education. But children cannot make the most of what their schools have to offer if their families lack safe and stable homes. I hope the President intends to include affordable housing in the list of infrastructure improvements and to spare the safety net housing programs from the spending freeze," said National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) president Sheila Crowley in response to President Obama's State of the Union Address on January 25.

Despite signs that the economy is improving, the NLIHC says that the housing crisis that precipitated the recession continues. "Not only are people still losing their homes to foreclosure, the longstanding shortage of rental homes that the lowest income families can afford has grown during the recession," the organization said in response. "Between 2007 and 2009, the shortage of rental units that are both affordable and available for households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income grew from 5.2 to 6 million."

The organization believes that directing more resources to solve the housing problems of the lowest income families will create more jobs in construction. It also called to attention the country's "unprecedented opportunity to build and repurpose existing vacant and underutilized housing with a hungry labor force and primed industry."

The NLIHC statement pointed to the National Housing Trusting Fund as an infrastructure program "that will reduce the shortage of affordable rental homes, create thousands of jobs, and bring immediate gains to national, state, and local economies," without adding to the deficit.