Today’s editorial in the NYT calls for renewed attention to the nation’s rental housing assistance programs.
Congress has not treated these housing programs kindly in recent years. Between 2010 and 2012, financing fell by about $2.5 billion, or nearly 6 percent, although some of this was mitigated by one-time measures, like spending from reserves. President Obama’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year is not much of an improvement; given inflation, Congress would have to increase appropriations just to keep treading water, when, in fact, what the poor in this country need is a significant jump.
The NYT recommends three actions:
- Pass the Affordable Housing and Self Sufficiency Improvement Act
- Fund the The National Housing Trust Fund through FannieMae and FreddieMac profits
- Consider a proposal by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has suggested revision of the tax code — which now provides some $100 billion in tax breaks to homeowners — to give low-income renters a benefit as well.
I agree. These are good places to begin.