Use Recess Meetings With Members of Congress to Talk About Affordable Housing

Ask Your Member About Affordable Housing and Rebuilding Communities

Congress will be in recess from Monday, April 10 to Friday, April 21, 2017 and now is the perfect time to attend a town hall or to schedule an in-district meeting or site visit with your federal lawmakers to talk about affordable housing.

New Jersey advocates can use this time to educate our federal lawmakers about:

  • the importance of affordable housing,
  • why potential budget cuts will hurt people with low incomes, and
  • how we can increase affordable housing resources through tax reform.

In New Jersey, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7) is hosting a town hall on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. The Town Hall will be held at Mount Olive High School Performing Arts Center in Flanders, New Jersey.

Previously, we had posted – Messaging for Site Visits and Town Halls During Congressional Recess – which provides information on messaging for site visits and town hall meetings.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has shared the following resources:

  • Spring 2017 Issues Guide: Learn more about the top five critical issues before Congress and what advocates can ask their Senators and Representatives to do.
  • Advocacy Toolkit and Webinar: The toolkit includes talking points, sample op-eds, tweets, and how-to’s for setting up in-district meetings and site visits. The webinar includes information on President Trump’s budget proposal and tips to effectively engage lawmakers.
  • A Place Called Home report and Success Stories: This report shows why affordable housing is a smart investment in health, education, economic mobility and the economy, and includes more than 100 success stories from across the nation.
  • Town Halls In Your Community: Check out townhallproject.com to see if your lawmakers are holding town hall meetings. Here are some questions you can ask:
    • Question 1: Only 1 in 4 people who need housing assistance actually get this help, and the spending caps only make this worse. Unless the caps are lifted, programs that keep roofs over the heads of many people in our community will see funding cuts. Where will these families go if they are evicted from their homes or have to live out of their cars?
    • Question 2: President Trump ran his campaign promising to rebuild communities. But his budget proposes to eliminate resources that our state uses to revitalize distressed areas, build senior centers and health clinics, help families get out of shelters and into homes, and help low income families become homeowners. Do you think President Trump has broken his promise?
    • Question 3: Many have said that President Trump’s budget is dead-on-arrival. But it is not enough to oppose President Trump’s budget. HUD’s budget has already been cut to the bone. The only way to solve this problem is to lift the spending caps that would make it impossible to address the housing crisis in this country. Will you commit to this?
    • Question 4: Republicans in Congress are currently discussing ways to reform the mortgage interest deduction in tax reform. This raises the question of how Congress should invest the significant savings to lower tax rates or to reinvest in affordable homes for people with the greatest needs. Do you support keeping housing dollars in housing?

2017 Spring Issues Guide

Advocacy Toolkit

How We can Stop the Budget Cuts

A Place to Call Home

Town Hall Project

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