Statement From NCSHA Interim Executive Director Garth Rieman Following the State of the Union Address
WASHINGTON, DC — We agree America is a nation of builders. The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) asks Congress and the Administration to enact infrastructure legislation that supports the builders who produce desperately needed affordable homes for families ready to build their lives on the foundation a decent, affordable home provides. Affordable housing often leads directly to added security, quality education, health benefits, and proximity to good jobs.
Though we heard a little about the Administration’s infrastructure plan last night, we didn’t hear anything to suggest it will directly address our nation’s profound affordable housing crisis. Housing is infrastructure, and the Administration’s infrastructure plan should contain specific provisions to support building more affordable housing and preserving what we have now but are likely to lose without concerted action.
Too many people in our country today cannot find affordable housing near good jobs, schools, and health care—or anywhere for that matter. We need to address this crisis, which is holding back families from building their personal American Dreams. State Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) stand ready to help and have a proven track record in administering key affordable housing programs successfully.
Building affordable housing generates economic growth. Every home built tomorrow or the next day immediately creates well-paying jobs and, over time, additional employment, investment, and economic growth in our communities. It would be a shame for the Administration and Congress to miss this infrastructure bill opportunity to help support affordable housing.
NCSHA strongly supports eliminating the caps on how much private activity bond (PAB) authority states may allocate for Housing Bonds and other uses, which we understand is part of the Administration’s proposal but the President did not mention last night. Many states need more PAB authority to meet the demand for more affordable housing. We could make significant headway in producing more affordable housing and preserving existing affordable housing if the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the state PAB caps were enacted.
If this is a New American Moment, let’s use it to provide affordable housing to the millions of people in our country who need it.
About the National Council of State Housing Agencies
NCSHA is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan association that advocates on behalf of state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) before Congress and the Administration for affordable housing resources. NCSHA represents virtually every state HFA and the HFAs of the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCSHA’s membership also includes more than 300 affordable housing industry partners. Learn more at ncsha.org.
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