WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 7, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — LISC congratulates President Obama on his housing address delivered in Phoenix yesterday. The President’s words point to the need to rebuild communities and lives. We applaud that broad vision of what our country needs now and look forward to working with the Obama Administration and Congress to rebuild communities from the ground up, side by side with neighbors who reflect the diversity of our nation.
NEW YORK August 7, 2013 – The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) congratulates President Obama on his housing address delivered in Phoenix yesterday. His emphasis on good jobs with good wages, a stable home, a quality education, affordable healthcare, a secure retirement and a chance to earn your way into the middle class are basic American values that have escaped many of our neighbors.
President Obama’s speech showed that he still understands the difficulties many Americans endure to achieve the dream of a stable home. Too many families still lack access to affordable mortgages or fear predatory lenders that prey on the big dreams of families with the small print of broken promises.
The President has led the way on many aspects of our long, slow recovery from the great recession. The comeback from these difficult years has truly just begun, and there are many pieces of the housing puzzle yet to replace. Substantial involvement of the private sector in this recovery is the key to our success, because without a shared stake in our future it will be almost impossible to renew our communities.
We agree with the President that no one policy or program can solve the problem, but there are several programs that secure the availability of affordable housing, strengthen communities and create the foundation for home ownership.
Private-sector equity investment through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) creates thousands upon thousands of affordable rental units in urban, suburban and rural communities across the country, just as private-sector investments in New Markets Tax Credits support the services and amenities needed to make those communities strong. Both must be preserved and strengthened in the impending tax reform debate.
Congress should reform the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program in order to make the delivery of these subsidies more flexible, more efficient, and less costly.
The HOME program should remain a robust component of affordable homeownership and rental housing development financing to broaden the reach of stability to as many potential homeowners and renters as possible.
Finally, solid financial counseling to repair credit and ensure that a family is ready for home ownership is critical and must continue to be provided for new and at-risk homeowners.
The components of recovery are many and must be supported by both the President and by Congress. The President’s words point to the need to rebuild communities and lives. LISC applauds that broad vision of what our country needs now and looks forward to working with the Obama Administration and Congress to rebuild communities from the ground up, side by side with neighbors who reflect the diversity of our nation.
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has invested $12.9 billion to build or rehab 298,300 affordable homes and apartments and develop 49 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.
Colleen Mulcahy, LISC Communications