by Aaron Gornstein, POAH President/CEO
As we head into the busy fall Congressional season much is at stake for the future of affordable housing programs. It demonstrates once again why public policy advocacy must be an integral part of our work.
Over the past year, thousands of organizations and individuals across the country have mobilized to fight for continued and expanded affordable housing options. All of this work at the grassroots level, with an emphasis on coalition building, has made a real difference. This is supported and bolstered by the coordination of dozens of effective national housing organizations based in Washington, D.C. As a result, in the face of severe threats and great uncertainties, we have received bi-partisan support from Congress for core HUD programs and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
Like most other organizations, POAH has increased its level of activity this year. In close coordination with our state and national partners, we have held nearly 100 Congressional meetings, both on Capitol Hill and in local districts, we have engaged with new HUD leadership and we have hosted site visits to our properties so elected officials can hear from our residents and property management staff directly.
As we do so, it’s important to not only ensure support for existing programs (see POAH Legislative Priorities), but to bring forth new ideas--whether it’s ways for HUD to streamline its programs (see Administrative Opportunities) or to expand and improve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.
If we are able to continue this important advocacy and build even more alliances I am optimistic that in the months ahead we will see strong support for the continuation and possible expansion of key federal housing resources.