Statement from Terri Ludwig, president & CEO of Enterprise Community Partners, on Housing and Urban Development Secretary Nomination Hearing
January 13, 2017 - Enterprise is encouraged by several areas of potential collaboration raised by HUD Secretary-Designate Dr. Ben Carson in his nomination hearing. There are also several issues around which we encourage the incoming Administration to provide bold, specific solutions.
Dr. Carson expressed his commitment “to make America’s neighborhoods stronger and more inclusive." This goal could not be more urgent, as we know that each year a child spends in a high-poverty neighborhood decreases her chances of going to college, increases her chances of becoming a single parent, decreases her expected earnings as an adult and even reduces her life expectancy. We believe that affirmatively furthering fair housing is a critical part of achieving this goal, and commit to working with the Administration to ensure that each community is a community of opportunity.
We also appreciate Dr. Carson’s commitment to collaboration across silos, and agree that we must include the healthcare, education, jobs, transportation and other sectors in order to tackle poverty in the U.S. We especially welcome Dr. Carson’s depth of experience related to healthcare and support his commitment to reducing environmental hazards in assisted housing.
Enterprise is also encouraged by Dr. Carson’s support of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, America’s primary tool for encouraging private investment in affordable housing. We hope to see Dr. Carson’s continued leadership in support of this critical program as the next Administration and Congress consider tax reform.
We remain eager, however, to hear Dr. Carson’s plan for making a meaningful dent in our nation’s affordable housing crisis. There are currently more than 11 million households paying more than half of their income in rent, and only one in four families eligible for rental assistance actually receives it. Dr. Carson indicated he understands housing insecurity, having experienced it himself, which not only damages the health and economic prospects of millions of people in America but also hampers our country’s economic growth. We urge his administration to take bold steps to address this worsening crisis, which will require substantial new or increased resources for affordable housing.
President-Elect Trump has said that a top priority for his administration will be to invest in America’s infrastructure and urban areas as part of our nation’s growth and renewal. Investments in affordable housing must be a part of that agenda, and we hope that Dr. Carson will be an advocate on this issue.
Enterprise hopes to partner with Dr. Carson on our many shared priorities and welcomes the chance to provide our perspective on issues, as we continue to work tirelessly to create opportunity for low-income families through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities across the country.