WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — On Thursday, the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held a hearing to compare the housing models of the United States and the United Kingdom. The hearing was part of a series undertaken by the subcommittee to assess affordable and rental housing programs 50 years after the creation of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom was able to pursue transformative housing policies that altered the course of the nation’s welfare state,” Subcommittee Chairman Luetkemeyer (R-MO) said. “Prime Minister Thatcher, and Prime Minister Blair after her, envisioned a system that would facilitate a greater role for the private sector in affordable housing, including a ‘right to buy’ policy, which would give housing tenants the opportunity to purchase their homes over time.”
Members also heard from a panel of witnesses from both the U.S. and the U.K. who called for a new public housing model in the U.S. based on private capital and private-sector management practices combined with a public mission to help low income families become economically self-sufficient.
“I believe that the United States’ traditional public housing program is no longer viable in its current form to continue serving the needs of low-income Americans,” said Richard C. Gentry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Housing Commission
“The current public housing system, including HUD itself, rationalizes structure and process over social outcomes, a particularly poor set of choices in the face of the budget numbers that are provided for our programs,” said Gregory P. Russ, Executive Director of the Cambridge Housing Authority of Cambridge, MA.
Speaking of the British model, Harris Beider of Coventry University said, “Since 1988, housing associations have been very successful in raising private finance to support social aims. By 2012, housing associations secured more in private financing to cover operations … than government grant …for the first time, marking a dramatic shift in the support for social housing.”
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On the Horizon
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 10:00 A.M.
Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 2:00 P.M.
Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 2:00 P.M.
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee
Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 9:15 A.M.
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee