Congress returns to Washington this week with much to accomplish before the next recess in August: reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, appropriations for FY 2019, confirmations of many Trump administration appointees and housing finance reform, to name a few of interest to NHC members. Next Wednesday, the House will hold a Members Day hearing on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations, giving all members of Congress the opportunity to weigh in on FY 2019 appropriations for HUD.
These activities take on great weight as we mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Fair Housing Act this week. As I have shared in previous editions of the Member Brief, the African-American homeownership rate is lower now than it was in 1968, which is a national tragedy. We can and should do much better, though sustained advocacy, fact-based policy development and a thorough understanding of how to effectively market responsible mortgage products in minority communities.
We also need to be prepared to make the best case to policy makers and the public at large. At the closing plenary of Solutions for Housing Communications next week, we will discuss how advocates can find new avenues for our messages, build alliances outside of the housing sector and help community leaders and elected officials alike understand the negative impact of America’s affordable housing shortage—and what to do about it. There’s still time to register, and I hope to see you there.