LSA Public Policy Priorities
All people should live in safe, affordable, and decent housing. Investment in the development of affordable housing should be shared by government, nonprofit developers, and for-profit developers. It is important for affordable housing to be available in rural, suburban and urban communities. Different types of housing units should be available so that the diverse housing needs of people are appropriately met, including single-family housing, multi-family residences and in some cases, small group or community-living housing.
LSA Affordable Housing Priorities for the 111th Congress
- Inclusion of $1 billion in mandatory funding for the National Housing Trust Fund in the FY2011 budget
- Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Reform and Funding
- Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with DisabilitiesReform and Funding
Implementation of and Funding for the National Housing Trust Fund
The National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) was created as a part of the Housing Economic Recovery Act, signed into law on July 30, 2008. The goal of the National Housing Trust Fund is to provide for the housing needs of families with very low income, primarily those with incomes of less than 30 percent of area median income. The main source of funding for the NHTF was to come from a percentage of new business of government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the resources of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have declined, it has become imperative that other sources of funding be identified within the federal budget, as well as from the private sector. LSA was pleased with President Obama’s request for $1 billion in capital funding in the FY2010 and FY2011 federal budgets, but a source for that funding has yet to be identified. LSA continues to work with Congress, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other affordable housing partners to search for sufficient, sustainable funding for this important program. LSA and its members are also in conversation with HUD and local housing authorities to ensure smooth, effective implementation of the NHTF. State and local housing entities will be integral in the dissemination of Trust Fund dollars, and LSA members interested in the Trust Fund are encouraged to connect with their state and local housing authorities
Section 202 Reform and Funding
For every ten people over the age of 62 who are waiting for affordable, assisted housing, only one unit is available. Many nonprofit organizations are interested in providing affordable, assisted housing through the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, but reforms are needed to the application process and funding is required for rehabilitation of existing Section 202 units and the building of new Section 202 units. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) introduced S. 118, the Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2009, on the first day of the 111th Congress; this legislation would implement many of the needed reforms to the program. In the House, Title VII of the Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Act of 2010 (H.R. 4868) includes Section 202 reform language nearly identical to S. 118.
The Obama Administration has proposed a cut in all capital funding for new Section 202 projects in the FY2011 federal budget and has outlined several reforms they would like to see to the program. LSA is engaged in conversation with HUD and other nonprofit Section 202 providers to help determine the best steps to make the Section 202 program more productive and efficient while continuing to produce much-needed housing units to low-income elderly households. Click here to learn more about the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2009.
Section 811 Reform and Funding
In FY2009, the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program funded the creation of only 950 housing units. It has been estimated that as many as 2.4 million households with non-elderly adults who are disabled have the most urgent housing needs. Reforms are needed to ensure that people with disabilities have access to adequate, affordable supportive housing that will allow them to live in and be active members of their communities. On March 23, 2009, Representative Christopher Murphy (D-CT) introduced H.R 1675, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009. This legislation would implement reforms to the current program that would streamline Section 811 processing and eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic requirements. The legislation also provides for a demonstration program that uses only the project rental assistance contracts to leverage housing units in developments financed with low income housing tax credits or other sources of state or local government controlled capital. The House passed H.R. 1675 on July 22 by a vote of 376-51. The legislation was introduced in the Senate as S. 1481 on July 21 by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE).
As with Section 202, the Section 811 program was also the target of a proposed cut in capital funding in the Obama Administration’s fiscal year 2011 federal budget proposal, and HUD has identified reforms they are interested in implementing. LSA continues to work with HUD and other organizations to ensure the stability and productivity of this program. To learn more about the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009, please visit www.lsadnadvocacy.org.
For more information contact Meg Cooch, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the LSA Disability Network via e-mail or at 202-626-7949.