Romney's Record Shows Support for Affordable Housing Programs
With his status as the Republican front-runner shaken since the South Carolina primary, Mitt Romney is trying to solidify his lead by focusing on the housing market. That's because it's a critical issue in Florida, where the next GOP primary will be held on Jan. 31.
At a recent roundtable discussion with business leaders, Romney stated, "Housing has become a mess in large measure because the government got in the middle of it." And in an interview last October with the
Las Vegas Review-Journal, he stated that government should let the foreclosure crisis "run its course and hit the bottom."
But Romney's record as Massachusetts governor shows a stronger commitment to affordable housing than the hands-off approach he advocates today. For example, in March 2004, Governor Romney addressed a meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations and said, "Fair and affordable housing should be a right, not a privilege."
And in the year before he addressed the Community Development Corporations, in August 2003, he announced $17.6 million in tax credits and grants to construct nearly 550 new rental apartments in Lowell, Walpole, and Mattapan. At the time, Romney said, "This financial commitment represents an important blend of public resources which will leverage millions of private dollars and help ease the state’s current housing supply shortage. In doing so, it will also serve as an investment in the future of our economic well being by making Massachusetts an attractive state in which to work and live.”