The American dream is in danger. The future of affordable housing looks grim.
On a webinar hosted by the HOME Coalition, Julian Castro, HUD Secretary, discussed deep cuts to HOME funding. As part of the Federal Government’s 2016 budget approval process, there is a proposed 93% cut to HOME Funds, which would basically eliminate the program. While the President’s proposed budget would increase the allocation, Congress is trying to cut it.
California alone would be reduced from $118M to $9M, barely enough to fund more than a few projects. The steep cuts would cause participating jurisdictions to use HOME for vouchers and rehab projects and not for the creation of new units at a time where a full time minimum wage earner cannot afford the rent on a 1-bedroom apartment in any of the 50 states!
The cuts would directly affect tax credit financing. Currently, 37% of all HOME Funds are used as matching funds for tax credits, and 25% of all tax credit projects include HOME Funds. If HOME Funds are cut and housing tax increment is gone, what will jurisdictions use to secure tax credits?
Use the upcoming August Recess (August 10 to September 7) as an opportunity to engage your Senators and Representatives and to urge them to restore the HOME program to at least $1.06 billion, as requested by the President. Follow this link to learn more about the benefits of the HOME Program, advocacy efforts, and ways to contact Republican and Democratic Representatives and Senators. Speak out about these proposed cuts on social media, letters to the editor, and directly contacting legislature! The future belongs to all of us.
Written by Tara Matthews, Principal at RSG.