WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 30, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — On Wednesday, May 1, Nan Roman, a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission, will present the findings of a recently issued report, Housing, America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy, to legislators in a joint House and Senate hearing at 9:30 a.m. in Room 11 at the Vermont State House.
Jennifer Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing & Com-munity Development said, “We are honored to welcome Nan Roman to Vermont. The report’s balanced recommendations, with input from Vermont housing leaders, aim to move national pol-icy forward to the benefit of our citizens. A number of the Commission’s recommendations validate successful Vermont housing programs that are serving seniors, renters and homeowners.”?
Housing Commissioner Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness and one of 21 commissioners who worked on the report, said, “The Commission’s overarching goal was to insure that our housing system enables households to exercise choice in their living situations as their needs and preferences change over time. Vermont has a good head start in several of these policy areas with a nationally recognized network of non-profit afford-able housing developers, an innovative model for homeownership coupled with a statewide housing counseling system, the SASH (Support and Services at Home) Program, that uses hous-ing as a platform to deliver health services to seniors, reducing hospital stays and health care expenses, and strong HOME and tax credit programs serving low-income renters. We need to learn from such successes and develop a new vision for housing policy that provides a path for-ward during this period of great change.”
The Commission aims to reform the nation’s housing policy by crafting a package of re-alistic and actionable policy recommendations that respond to both the near-term and long-term challenges facing the housing sector. Making a continual effort to include both Republican and Democratic perspectives in its outreach and research, the Housing Commission brings together a diversity of housing experts, business leaders, former elected officials, academics, and other key stakeholders.
The report recommendations are the culmination of a 16-month process that engaged the housing community through a series of regional housing forums. In July 2012 Vermont housing advocates and policy makers traveled to Bar Harbor, Maine to offer their perspectives and make policy recommendations to the Housing Commission.
The Commission considers a robust housing sector supported by a strong and stable sys-tem of housing finance to be crucial to allowing the economy to reach its full potential particularly in rural states like Vermont. Major topics and policy recommendations in the report include:
Reform HUD programs to improve accountability and flexibility within the delivery system and, wherever possible, devolve housing investment decisions to states and locali-ties to address regional needs. Preserve and expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) by 50 percent over current funding levels and increase gap funding through the HOME Program;
A new system is proposed using Housing Choice Vouchers to provide rental assistance to the neediest families (at or below 30 percent of area median income).
Maintain and rehabilitate existing public housing to preserve the value of prior investments.
Increase coordination of federal programs that deliver health and long-term care services to seniors in residential settings, resulting in cost savings for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
A blueprint for a new system of housing finance that increases the role of private, risk-bearing capital to provide for a vibrant rental housing market and support homeowner-ship, ensuring that mortgages remain available and affordable to qualified homebuyers. Reducing the government’s role in supporting mortgage credit would protect taxpayers while increasing the diversity of funding sources.
During a two-day visit to Vermont, Roman and Nikki Rudnick, Associate Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center, will meet with legislators, Administration officials, Congressional staff and members of the press.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell founded the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in 2007 to combine politically bal-anced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach. The BPC Housing Commission was launched in October 2011 to develop a new vision for federal housing policy. The Housing Commission Co-chairs are former U.S. Senators Christopher “Kit” Bond, Mel Martinez and George Mitchell and former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.
Nancy Eldridge, Executive Director, Cathedral Square Corporation, 802-863-2224;