WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 26, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — In the annual State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama offered his “Blueprint for an America Built to Last,” which centers on reducing the disparities in income and wealth among Americans. He wants people of means to pay their fair share of taxes and he wants to improve the prospects for low and middle income Americans to get good jobs that pay a fair wage. He appealed to Congress to set aside ideological differences and act together on behalf of the American people.
“The President articulated the core issues of our times, the widening gap between the rich and everyone else. The United States ranks well below other developed countries in measures of income equality. Societies that allow wide disparities between the rich and the poor cannot prosper,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). “I applaud President Obama for taking on the fight against unfair tax policies.”
The President announced new initiatives to help struggling homeowners refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates and other measures to address the foreclosure crisis. While NLIHC supports these proposals, the housing interventions described by Mr. Obama only get at one dimension of the housing crisis. The U.S. has a long standing shortage of rental housing that the very lowest income families can afford. With unemployment, stagnating wages, and rents going up with increased demand due to the foreclosure crisis, these families are being further squeezed. NLIHC analysis of 2010 data from the American Community Survey show that for every 100 renter households with incomes in the bottom 30% of their communities, there are only 31 rental homes that are available and affordable to them. Over two-thirds (68%) of these households spend more than half of their income for rent.
“We know that the President is concerned about the plight of low income renters and trust he will include proposals to assist them as well when he releases his FY13 budget,” said Crowley. “The National Low Income Housing Coalition will work with the White House to advance these ideas.”
Housing advocates await the February release of the President’s FY13 budget request, which will mark the starting point for negotiations on funding for a range of housing programs serving very low income Americans.
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
Amy Clark, , 202.662.1530 x227