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National League of Cities CEO Urges Congress to Act on Campaign’s Housing Priorities

Clarence Anthony, CEO of the National League of Cities (NLC), testified before the House Committee on Financial Services on February 4. Mr. Anthony urged Congress to act on the campaign’s housing priorities, along with other priorities such as COVID-19 fiscal relief for local governments. Mr. Anthony submitted written testimony that read: “As a partner of the multi-jurisdictional Opportunity Starts at Home campaign and Mayors and CEO’s for U.S. Housing Investment, NLC has endorsed a set of specific funding recommendations: 1) $30 billion for emergency rental and utility assistance; 2) $28 billion in new funding for Housing Choice Vouchers; 3) $6 billion in new funding for Emergency Solutions Grants; and 4) $44 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund.”  NLC is a Steering Committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home multisector affordable homes campaign. 

“There is no question additional housing aid is necessary,” said Mr. Anthony in his remarks. “That was the case before COVID-19, and it remains the case today.”  

Watch the Live Webcast of the Hearing
Read the Written Testimony

Also, check out NLC’s report, “Affordable Housing & Health City Roles and Strategies for Progress,” which explores ways local leaders can work toward healthy, equitable, and affordable housing.

Justice in Aging & NLIHC Release New Issue Brief on the Impact of Housing Instability on Low-Income Seniors

Justice in Aging and the National Low Income Housing Coalition recently co-published an issue brief that explores how housing instability, housing unaffordability, and homelessness impact the low-income senior population. The issue brief examines: 1) the intersection of age/ethnicity on rental cost burden; 2) the disproportionate impact of cost burden on older Black and Latinx populations that are rooted in income inequality; 3) the nationwide shortage of affordable rental units; 4) an increase in seniors experiencing homelessness; and 5) housing and health policy solutions needed to solve this problem.

“Caught in the vise between their fixed, lower incomes and steadily rising costs for rental housing,” the report states, “low-income seniors are facing unsustainable rent burdens, paying ever higher percentages of their meager incomes on housing. This untenable situation causes life-threatening stress and leads to people having to choose between paying rent, eating, or buying medications—while also increasing the risk they will be forced onto the streets.” 

Read the Issue Brief

Natural Resources Defense Council: “How HUD Can Address the Crisis of Housing & Climate Change”

A new blog by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) explores major housing proposals made by President Biden and explains how housing represents a key element of the President’s climate strategy, which calls for reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. building stock 50% by 2035. The blog’s author, Khalil Shahyd, senior policy advocate at NRDC, recommends that HUD establish an Office of Climate Resilience and take on a “much larger role in the provision of energy efficiency services for affordable housing, particularly multifamily housing as part of a national climate mitigation strategy.” Among other recommendations, Shahyd urges HUD to create a robust affordable housing retrofit grant program, which would offer grants or loans for energy efficiency upgrades, health and safety measures, electrification, and solar panels in multifamily affordable housing. NRDC is a steering committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home multisector affordable homes campaign.

“Many of the provisions in President Biden’s legislative proposal are a direct response to the acute needs generated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Shahyd. “However, they also would deliver important, long-term improvements to critical housing and social safety net programs necessary to creating a more just response to the climate crisis. The rise in frequency of climate-induced extreme weather events only increases the pressure on an already anemic federal housing infrastructure…Housing has a critical role to play in the fight against climate change and must be seen as front and center to that effort.” 

Read the Blog

Did You Know?
Nearly Half (46%) of the Public Had to Make One Sacrifice to Cover Their Housing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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