WASHINGTON—The National Housing Conference (NHC) welcomes the focus by Speaker Ryan and other Republican leaders on empowering Americans to emerge from poverty. Their recognition of the challenges, especially around housing, that people in poverty face and leaders’ willingness to engage in policymaking in a detailed, outcome-focused way is encouraging. Only bipartisan, practical policymaking will craft solutions to the complex challenges posed by poverty. Housing is an essential element of a solution to poverty, and NHC will work with all policymakers in the effort.
Housing is a platform for individual and family success, and it is a key element of communities that shape people’s opportunity. Rising housing costs are also a barrier to success, especially for the more than 17 million households in America, including owners and renters, spending more than half of their income just on housing. The Republican poverty plan recognizes the connection between housing and economic success and provides areas to craft helpful policy around individualized support for self-sufficiency, public-private partnerships, evidence-based program evaluation, social impact financing and more.
The Republican proposal does not, however, directly engage with the mismatch between housing need and the funding provided. Only about a quarter of the people who qualify for housing assistance under existing rules actually receive assistance. Any evaluation of housing programs or planning for future change must acknowledge that our policy solution must match our resource commitment to the need. Much research has demonstrated the spillover benefits of stable housing in educational achievement, economic activity, household success, health and resulting savings in other government outlays.
NHC looks forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to develop policy solutions that build on what we know works: a stable home as a platform for individual, family and community success.
About the National Housing Conference:
The National Housing Conference represents a diverse membership of housing stakeholders including tenant advocates, mortgage bankers, nonprofit and for-profit home builders, property managers, policy practitioners, Realtors®, equity investors, and more, all of whom share a commitment to safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. We are the nation’s oldest housing advocacy organization, dedicated to the affordable housing mission since our founding in 1931. We are a nonpartisan, 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together our broad-based membership to advocate on housing issues. Learn more at www.nhc.org.
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