Coalition urges Congress to take actions to alleviate affordable-housing shortage.

Position:Business Alert

A COALITION OF NINE NATIONAL HOUSING organizations laid out a plan calling on Congress and the Bush administration to take immediate and specific actions that will stimulate the production and preservation of affordable housing, create new jobs and spur economic growth.

The coalition, formed under the auspices of the National Housing Conference (NHC), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization focused on affordable housing and development, committed to calling on Congress to create new tools that will increase the supply of reasonably priced housing in order to meet pressing national needs. The coalition's policy agenda is based on several recommendations included in the 2002 report Meeting the Nation's Housing Needs, produced by the congressionally appointed Millennial Housing Commission (MHC). The MHC found that almost 28 million households spend "more on housing than the federal government considers affordable and appropriate."

To support the production of affordable for-sale housing, the coalition recommends implementing a homeownership tax credit like the one proposed by President Bush in his fiscal year 2004 budget. For example, on an annualized basis, the president's proposal could produce as many as 50,000 new and rehabilitated homes; contribute an estimated $2 billion of private-equity investment resulting in a total annual investment of $6 billion; create about 122,000 jobs; and generate approximately $4 billion in wages and $2 billion in taxes and fees.

The coalition also calls for a new multifamily production program to expand and preserve the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low- to moderate-income families in communities built for residents with a mix of incomes. The coalition believes that additional production of tens of thousands of apartment units annually is essential to respond to the overwhelming demand for this type of housing. The production...

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