Oakland, CA – Today, Mayor Libby Schaaf and U.S. mayors representing 13 million Americans joined with a diverse set of powerful U.S. businesses to launch Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, a first-of-its-kind coalition of local government and business leaders collaborating to advance public-private partnerships that tackle affordable housing and homelessness and actively oppose current funding cuts.
[See attached for the full January 25 press release on this item]
“Mayors and business leaders have a unique understanding of the needs in the community, and the economic barriers which hold cities back from reaching their goal of creating stable and thriving communities,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf. “The creation of a bipartisan coalition made up of elected officials and CEOs, working in concert with nonprofit leaders and policy experts, will send a strong message to our federal government that investing in affordable housing and programs to prevent homelessness, will lead to economic growth, a better trained and prepared workforce, and stronger, more resilient cities.”
The concept was initiated one year ago by the late Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco and joined quickly by other launch mayors.
Mayor Libby Schaaf is attending the US Conference of Mayors in Washington DC this week to seek more federal resources to address the homelessness crisis and affordable housing.
For more information on this launch, visit: https://housinginvestment.org/
Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment recommends four policy changes to help stabilize the current outlook:
1. Maximize funding for existing federal programs that work, like Section 8 Housing Vouchers, Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grants and Community Development Block Grants.
2. Issue new, competitive HUD-HIIRO (Housing Innovation, Investment and Reform Opportunities) grants modeled after the Department of Transportation’s successful TIGER grants, designed for local communities to reward innovative thinking and collaborative, cross-sector projects to combat homelessness and affordable housing problems. These types of programs have proven to leverage local investment to provide strong social and economic returns.
3. Build on the successful HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing model through HUD-PASS (Partnerships Accelerating Supportive Services), which would pair HUD vouchers with Health and Human Services programs to help families and individuals experiencing homelessness who have mental health issues and other barriers to assistance.
4. Create a Housing Stabilization Fund – a pool of funds within HUD that can provide one-time, short-term emergency housing assistance to households below 80% of AMI. Funds would be initially allocated to communities by formula, and subsequently on a pro rata basis adjusted for performance. There are many low-income renter and owner households which, while generally able to afford their homes, still lack any cushion when faced with a housing emergency. For these households, the loss of a job or a health emergency can result in eviction and a downward spiral of housing instability that often ends in homelessness. Unfortunately, there is no consistent housing program, fund or tool to help prevent such losses.
About Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment(@mayorsandceos): Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment is a 501(c)(3) coalition advocating for federal investment in affordable housing and homeless services. It is represented by Holland & Knight LLP in partnership with the National League of Cities and is advised by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
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