Increasing the Availability of Affordable Rental Housing Would Lead to Economic Growth
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), and the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) submitted a proposal on fostering economic growth to the Senate Banking Committee.
The proposal argues that the key to economic growth is increasing the availability of affordable rental housing.
- Affordable homes provide stability that makes it easier for adults to keep jobs and contributes to children’s health, success in school, and opportunity for long-term success.
- Access to an affordable home also reduces family stress and frees up resources for parents to spend on nutritious food, health care, and enriching activities and materials that promote their children’s healthy and successful development.
- By building affordable homes in high-opportunity areas, families are better able to live in healthy neighborhoods with quality schools and good jobs.
- Moreover, affordable housing investments provide an economic boost in communities with weak economies.
Despite the benefits of affordable housing, NLIHC, CBPP, and NAEH made the argument that our nation invests far too little in housing solutions for those most in need. Many renters—particularly those with extremely low incomes—cannot access an affordable place to call home.
To address this need and to spur economic growth, the proposal recommends a comprehensive set of solutions, including:
- an expansion of rental assistance,
- emergency homeless assistance, and
- capital to build and preserve affordable housing for the lowest income people through the national Housing Trust Fund, among others.
“Rental assistance for extremely low-income families that need long-term help to
afford housing. Assistance should be provided through an expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers and the establishment of a renters’ tax credit. Effectiveness will be improved by including mobility counseling to help families move to areas of opportunity that are connected to good schools, good jobs, healthcare, and transit,” states the proposal.
“Housing instability — such as evictions, frequent moves, living doubled-up with other families, and homelessness — is common among low-income families. Yet housing instability can lead to job losses that contribute to families’ downward spiral into deeper poverty — a phenomenon that Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond illustrates with moving examples in his Pulitzer Prize-winning study of Milwaukee families,” states the proposal.