Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Economic Stimulus Package and Fair Housing

Fair Housing advocacy is an issue of utmost importance to Council Member James. We, along with the nation, eagerly await the changes the Obama administration will bring to the United States. It is imperative that during this shift, we take a hard look at the issues that affect Brooklynites and other New Yorkers. Both Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg stressed the importance of fiscal responsibility during this current economic state, and put forth budget proposals to strengthen the economy of New York.

While our focus is often on the City of New York, we think that it is equally important for New York residents to appeal to federal elected officials to represent their position on important issues. For those who share an interest in fair housing, please be aware that U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development within the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Senator Schumer should know that affordable and fair housing development is important in New York City, and should be a primary component of the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also know as the Economic Stimulus Package of 2009).

The Supportive Housing Network of New York cites the following needs:

Adequate capital for affordable housing development by funding the National Housing Trust Fund and other sources at $10 billion—

· 200,000 Section 8 Vouchers to ensure that tenants of all incomes are housed.
· $2 billion in Emergency Shelter Grants to prevent homelessness and rapidly re-house people when they become homeless.
· Quick fixes to increase investment in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Include provisions to address the steep drop-off of investment in Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the primary funding source for affordable and supportive housing. Without immediate fixes to this successful program, investment in affordable housing development will lag, even with new funding.

If this issue is important to you, please contact Senator Schumer to help ensure that fair and affordable housing opportunities are included in the stimulus package.

Please see Senator Schumer’s contact information here:

The Supportive Housing Network of New York may be found here:

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