Capitol Correspondence - 04.20.21

More than 60 Members of Congress Ask Biden to Prioritize Affordable Housing

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Over 60 members of Congress, including 11 Senators, wrote a letter to President Biden requesting that he include affordable housing in his Build Back Better platform. While the letter did not explicitly spell out the need for accessible housing, ANCOR members have frequently flagged to us the challenges the individuals with disabilities they support face in seeking housing, which includes lack of housing assistance.

As written in the letter: “If we fail to act now, our nation’s economic growth will continue to be held back by the over 7 million unit deficit in affordable homes. Our current low affordable housing inventory is a significant driver of higher housing costs, which in turn strains limited federal rental assistance programs. Despite the clear and urgent need, only one in four households who qualify for housing assistance receives it due to decades of chronic underfunding by Congress. Millions of eligible households are currently stuck on waiting lists – often for several years – hoping for help to come sooner.

The long wait for help sets families further back year after year. Eight million of the lowest income renters pay at least half of their income on rent, leaving them without the resources they need to put food on the table, purchase needed medications, or make ends meet. Coronavirus and the compounding effects of explosive wildfires and extreme weather events have made the need for affordable housing more clear than ever in both rural and urban communities. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, fifty-four million rural residents lived in areas that had either a severe need or moderately severe need for the production of more affordable rental housing.”

Additional reading: Our members who advocate on these issues may be interested in an April 14 hearing by the House Financial Services Committee. While the hearing reviewed multiple bills on a wide range of issues, one of those bills sought to address the housing crisis and specifically mentions housing program for people with disabilities.

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