Members of the Senate Banking Committee:
The undersigned organizations, which include a broad cross-section of stakeholders in affordable housing, urge you to take action to enact rental assistance reform legislation early in 2013. It is critical that the Banking Committee act promptly on this good government legislation since the savings and efficiencies it would create are urgently needed and should be enacted in time to take effect in fiscal year 2014. HUD’s rental assistance programs face difficult budget pressures, and reform legislation would help state and local agencies stretch limited funds and minimize the risk of harsh cuts in assistance to needy families.
We have attached
[page 2] a list of ten specific, high-priority reforms that we believe should be included in legislation. These reforms would reduce program costs by more than $2.3 billion over five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The reforms ease administrative burdens for housing agencies and owners, deliver fairer and more efficient assistance to low-income families, provide new tools to leverage private capital for affordable housing preservation and development and encourage self-sufficiency.
These reforms all have broad support from state and local housing agencies, low-income housing advocates, for-profit and non-profit affordable housing providers, and other stakeholders. In addition, they have all been vetted by Congress in previous sessions, and most were included in the Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act developed by the House Financial Services Committee in 2012.
The Banking Committee held two important hearings in the second half of 2012 that highlighted the pressing need for rental assistance reform and the broad consensus behind the core reforms. Your continued leadership will be essential to enacting legislation this year.
We look forward to working with you to enact rental assistance reform legislation.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force
Corporation for Supportive Housing
Council for Affordable and Rural Housing
Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
Enterprise Community Partners
Institute of Real Estate Management
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
National Affordable Housing Management Association
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Apartment Association
National Association of Home Builders
National Council of State Housing Agencies
National Housing Trust
National Leased Housing Association
National Low-Income Housing Coalition
National Multi Housing Council
Public Housing Authorities Directors Association
Stewards for Affordable Housing for the Future