Coalition outlines recommended housing policy changes

by Francis Monfort30 Jan 2018
A group of 11 mayors and three CEOs has launched Mayors & CEOs for US Housing Investment, a coalition that seeks to advance public-private partnerships to tackle affordable housing and homelessness and actively oppose current funding cuts.

The mayors include John Giles of Mesa, Ariz.; Greg Stanton of Phoenix; Mark Stodola of Little Rock, Ark.; Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Calif.; Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento, Calif.; Kevin Faulconer of San Diego; Steve Hogan of Aurora, Colo.; Michael Hancock of Denver; Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C.; and Jim Kenney of Philadelphia. The CEOs of Airbnb, GHC Housing Partners, and Sutter Health are also part of the coalition.

The group recommended four policy changes to help stabilize the current outlook on affordable housing and homelessness. First, the group recommended that funding for existing federal programs that work should be maximized. These programs include Section 8 Housing Vouchers, Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grants, and Community Development Block Grants.

The group also proposed the issues of Department of Housing and Urban Development-Housing Innovation, Investment and Reform Opportunities grants that will reward local communities for affordable housing programs and cross-sector projects to combat homelessness.

To help the homeless who have mental health issues and other barriers to assistance, the group recommended building on the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing model through HUD-Partnerships Accelerating Supportive Services, which would pair HUD vouchers with Health and Human Services programs.

Finally, the group proposed the creating of a Housing Stabilization Fund, which would provide households below 80% of the area median income one-time, short-term emergency housing assistance.

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