Bipartisan Group of Senators Proposes Affordable Housing Task Force
This week Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act, which seeks to establish a bipartisan affordable housing Task Force to evaluate how our nation’s severe shortage of affordable housing impacts other government programs and areas of life. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) also joined as original co-sponsors of the bill.
A lack of affordable housing affects all areas of life, including economic opportunities, educational performance and health outcomes, making it harder for families to escape the cycle of poverty. In a statement, Senator King said, “This isn’t a partisan issue, or one that is limited to just large cities or small rural towns – it affects everyone, and requires a strong bipartisan effort to identify how we can improve quality of life for people across the nation.”
The Task Force would comprise 18 members who represent academic researchers, experts in a field of policy related to affordable housing, or individuals who have experience with related government programs. It would be charged with:
- Evaluating and quantifying the impact that a lack of affordable housing has on life outcomes for individuals, including education, employment, income level, health, nutrition, access to transportation, and poverty level in the neighborhood in which individuals live, as well as how these shortages damage regional economic growth and neighborhood and rural community stability and revitalization.
- Evaluating and quantifying the costs incurred by other federal, state, and local programs due to a lack of affordable housing.
- Making recommendations to Congress on how to use affordable housing to improve the effectiveness of other federal programs and improve life outcomes for individuals in the United States.
In response to the proposal, Enterprise’s president Laurel Blatchford stated that “Enterprise is thrilled to see this bipartisan group of Senators committed to evaluating how our country’s growing shortage of affordable housing affects residents, communities, and the economy. Millions of working families, seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities lack well-designed, affordable homes in thriving communities, which limits the opportunities they have in many areas of life. We applaud this bill and these Senators’ dedication to supporting low- and moderate-income people.”
Enterprise looks forward to working with Congress to advance this legislation. We will also continue advocating to strengthen and expand critical affordable housing programs with a track record of success, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and HOME Investment Partnerships Program.
See our 2018 Federal Policy Priorities for more information about Enterprise’s advocacy efforts.