Neither President Obama nor members of Congress who voted for his Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTC) believed the plan would work. They wanted to gut it. And yet, now that it’s law, they’re actually the ones that provide millions of dollars for affordable housing across the country. Why? Because Members of Congress who voted against the legislation have pledged to get money for affordable housing from somewhere, either the federal government or their individual pet projects.
So now they’re actually doing what they said they were going to do, except in this case the funding is coming from the federal government. For those who voted against the legislation, well, you have to be excused for being so angry. That’s really pathetic. Apparently, the American people, or rather vocalists, believe that this legislation was nothing more than a political pork gesture. Nothing could be further from the truth.
But if this bill had been law when it was passed, then the federal loan modification plan would have been a failure. Why? Because simply, there was no way for the federal government to pay for it all. In fact, if the federal budget were even balanced at this time, it would be an obvious success. And yet, as long as those who voted against this bill are in office, it’s clearly a failure and the only beneficiaries will be those who were for it.
What’s ironic is that these same people who initially opposed this bill are the same people who are now trying to fund this same project! And if the funding is given, they will be put in the same position again. This “win-win” scenario benefits no one. However, if the money was not allowed, then those who voted must just live with what happened and how much worse it will get, is it really a win-win situation?
As stated before, this bill was supposed to be a “rainy day” scenario. That is, to cover the cost of extending the federal loan modification program and keeping it going through the end of August, Congress would have to pass a bill immediately. However, without the money, it will cease to be a “rainy day” scenario and Congress will be forced to scramble to draw up a “plan B”, which is just as bad as passing this tragedy. This leaves the American people without the help they need, which is why those who supported this legislation are trying to fund it now, so that it can be passed when the final numbers come in. Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to. have been dealing with this mess for some time.
For those who think that the only way the government will actually cover the cost of giving our houses back to the American people is, well, you might want to think about that. As the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, then it probably is. The House and Senate are currently negotiating a “fiscal year” budget, which is essentially a list of how much money the federal government will spend during the year on a variety of programs.
As reported by the Government Accountability Office, a full quarter of the US Parliament has voted against the House version of the bill! Meanwhile, Housing Leaders appear to have underestimated the level of support for their own scheme, which is why they are threatening to shut down government unless the president agrees to a postgraduate version of ‘ u plan. The fact that the House is undermining the Obama Administration’s ability to work successfully toward resolving the mortgage crisis shows how much support the President has behind it. He cannot afford to lose the support of the American people again.
If the House can’t pass a spending bill that includes the closing relief for homeowners, which they appear to be ready to do, then that’s when they will be forced to go to “finances,” which means they will passes a temporary budget that does not include any of the necessary bills. And, if the US President can’t broker a deal with either Democrats or Republicans in Congress to fund the government and keep it operating, then all those bills will be passed to the final bill as a complete failure and completely! This would indeed be a complete and utter failure, especially considering that many of those involved in the move are career politicians. The only way this will make any sense is if the House and Parliament come to some agreement to either pass an ongoing resolution to keep the government running beyond the deadline when President Obama has say he wants it closed. Then, of course, we’ll finally have a real chance to fix the mess we’ve gone through by stopping the closure and saving America!
A federal voucher program is in danger of being scaled back sharply as the White House seeks to cut its social policy package to appease two central senators.
SAN FRANCISCO – Retired bus driver Audrey Sylve has spent an exciting 13 years on a federal voucher waiting list that would help pay rent for an apartment in one of America’s most expensive housing markets.
This summer it seemed that help was finally on the way.
In late July, congressional Democrats introduced a $ 322 billion plan to strengthen low-income housing programs as part of the $ 3.5 trillion social spending plan embraced by President Biden. At its center is a $ 200 billion aid infusion for the country’s poorest tenants, which would allow another 750,000 households to participate in a program that currently serves two million families.
Affordable housing advocates considered it a once-in-a-generation windfall that would allow local governments to move thousands of low-income tenants like Ms. Sylve, 72, off waiting lists and expanding support for families at highest risk of homelessness.
But optimism has given way to anxiety. Low-income housing, and the voucher program in particular, are among those most at risk of being suddenly scaled back as the White House seeks to break the package to accommodate the requirements of two central Democrats, the Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Cinema of Arizona, according to several people who were involved in the talks.
Congressional negotiators are seeking to cut the overall size of the 10-year package, in cooperation with the White House, to between $ 1.9 trillion and $ 2.3 trillion. Housing on the chopping block is just one of several high price priorities in the negotiations.
Yet supporters say no other proposal is likely to have an immediate impact on the lives of the country’s most vulnerable people with the increase in rent assistance because it addresses a fundamental problem: securing an affordable place to living when rents everywhere outweigh earnings.
“I’m all about funding early childhood education, childcare and expanding healthcare with education, but we can’t be successful with anything unless people have safe housing,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat leading. The House Financial Services Committee, which drafted the original plan.
Supporters of the expansion say every penny needs to start tackling a crisis that threatens to undermine recent gains in the fight to reduce poverty. They fear it will be put aside by other programs, such as universal childcare, which enjoy wider political support because they benefit middle-class people, not just poor people.
“Better healthcare or increased educational access doesn’t do much for families sleeping rough or under a bridge, or for the millions more to come,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which presses the White House to fund the program as it is drafted. “There are no ‘savings’ to be had here.”
The financial services industry, which is shaping the complex public-private funding packages used to build most affordable developments, has already considered a significantly scaled-down congressional compromise.
“Much of the proposed $ 400 billion in housing-related grants and tax subsidies is likely to be cut from the reconciliation bill,” analysts from Goldman Sachs wrote in an email last week. That figure bundled the $ 332 billion package, which also includes increases to public housing authorities and an affordable housing construction fund, with a smaller package of tax reliefs in the bill.
White House officials say they have not made any decisions. Ms Waters and her Senate partner Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, said they would not accept any deal that broke the housing plan more than any other offer.
“We’re not going to scale back. We are not going to lose our way on this, ”Mr Brown, chairman of the Banking Committee, said in an interview. “And we’re not going to compromise on the mission of transforming the fight on poverty.”
Over the past two decades, the federal government has stopped controlling the construction of government-run public housing projects. Instead, it has shifted resources to voucher programs, which bridge the financial gap between what a poor tenant can afford to pay and what a landlord could reasonably expect to receive on the open market.
Demand far outstrips supply: One recent study found that the federal government has provided funding for only a quarter of the vouchers needed to help house eligible families – and many housing authorities have provided best to take names to avoid leaving tenants in the lighthouse.
Even if the increase in vouchers somehow means it passes Mr Manchin and Ms Cinema, it would represent a lower payment only on a huge unmet need for housing assistance exacerbated by real estate values rockets in most major cities.
California’s estimated share of the new aid would bank on only a small portion of the new vouchers needed to meet demand, said Matthew Schwartz, president of the California Housing Partnership, a not-for-profit company that works with community groups to fund housing projects low income.
But it would be a significant improvement, Mr. Schwartz said, especially on top of a $ 22 billion affordable housing plan signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom becomes law this summer.
Joseph Villarreal, executive director of the Contra Costa County housing authority, outside San Francisco, is less concerned about the future than fulfilling the promises he has made in the past. He saw the new cash in personal terms, as a way to fulfill a more than a decade-long commitment in arrears.
“It would be horrific if anything, much less the majority, if this voucher money were cut from the offer,” he said.
The organization of Mr. Villarreal, which acts as a transfer for federal funding, maintains 51 separate waiting lists for the vouchers – some for specific developments, others for targeted demographic groups, with 47,000 families in limbo. “It’s weighing on me,” he said of the listings.
Ms. Sylve, who said she was scrapping over a small pension and Social Security, was one of 6,000 selected from 40,000 Contra Costa County eligible applicants in a lottery to add to the slow queue for the program, which n still known by its historical name, Section 8.
A few years ago she was told a voucher was about to become available, but that fell through, and she has spent much of the last 13 years hopping from apartment to apartment. Last spring, Ms. moved. Sylve in with her daughter across the bay in San Francisco, because the neighborhood around her apartment has become too dangerous.
“They give you hope, and that’s the hardest part,” Ms Sylve said. “But you still hope, year after year after year.”
A survey of 44 large housing authorities nationwide conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington left-leaning think tank, painted a serious picture of the voucher program. There were a total of 737,000 people on waiting lists, and 32 authorities are refusing to accept new applications, with a few exceptions for particularly vulnerable populations.
The situation on the West Coast was particularly acute, with eight times as many people waiting on waiting lists and being assisted in San Diego, where the list is at the top of 108,000. Long waiting lists are also a staple in Washington, Philadelphia, Houston, Honolulu, Little Rock, Ark., And New York, which closed its list years ago.
Will Fischer, the bureau’s housing policy director, said strengthening the voucher program was the single most important step the federal government could take to tackle the homelessness crisis.
“Look, the public housing money is urgently needed – but it would be for existing units, for families who already have a place to live,” he said. “And most of the other funding in the proposal actually serves people a little higher up the income scale.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat whose district is among the poorest in the country, said housing always seems to be ranked as the third, fourth or fifth priority of many liberal law makers.
When House Democrats opposed questions to Mr Biden about the social spending package at a meeting at the Capitol this month, Mr Torres – former chairman of the New York City Council housing committee – was stunned when he realized no one had asked the president for rental assistance, who spoke.
Mr Biden responded by promising to “protect” housing, without elaborating, Mr Torres said.