Tenants Urge the US Treasury to "Tax the Cheats, Save Our Homes"

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Linda Leaks/EmpowerDC (202)234-9119 Michael Kane/NAHT  (617)233-1885

Tenants Urge the US Treasury to "Tax the Cheats, Save Our Homes"

WASHINGTON - On April 15, the House approved the extremist Ryan House Budget Resolution for 2012, which would abolish Medicare and mandate much deeper budget cuts (14%, or $5.5 billion) to vital HUD programs aiding the poor starting this October. This is more than double the amount cut in 2011. The House budget also calls for work requirements, time limits and rent increases for elderly, disabled and low income tenants receiving HUD assistance—throwing many out on the street.

Who: Low income tenant leaders and organizations from across the nation

When: Tuesday, June 21, 10:30 am to 11:30 a.m.

Where: 730 15th Street NW (Bank of America), Washington D.C.

What: Tenants will rally at the Bank of America and the US Treasury, urging support for taxing the wealthy and big corporations to prevent deep budget cuts, and delivering a giant “check” from Bank of America for $4.2 billion to the US Treasury to avoid housing budget cuts

If the House Budget Committee’s HUD cuts of 14% are applied across the board to HUD programs; 294,000 Voucher families, 150,000 Public Housing families, and 180,000 Project Based Section 8 families would be cut off and made homeless, beginning in October. If these cuts were applied proportionately to Washington, D.C.; 1520 Voucher families, 1100 Public Housing families, and 1540 Project Based Section 8 families would lose their homes.

Earlier this year, the Save Our Homes Coalition—representing tenants from Section 8, Public and Voucher housing and their allies—coordinated a national day of action, with participation in 19 cities, to protest the proposed cuts to the HUD budget in Fiscal Year 2011. We succeeded in avoiding deep cuts to HUD rental housing programs. But Republicans have again called for deep spending cuts tied to the necessary increase in the US debt ceiling, which must be voted on by August 2 to avoid a US government default and ensuing world economic crisis.

To avoid further cuts, tenants are urging support for alternative revenues by taxing the wealthy and closing loopholes for giant corporations that paid no federal taxes in 2010. According to US Uncut, Bank of America paid NO federal income taxes in 2010. In fact, BOA received a tax refund of $666 million—despite record profits and lavish taxpayer bailouts. US Uncut and others estimate that making large corporations pay their fair share would generate as much as $100 billion each year.

If BOA paid their fair share at the supposed “corporate income tax rate” of 35%, $4.2 billion in cuts could be avoided—enough to prevent the deep cuts to HUD rental programs proposed by the House Budget Committee for FY 2012.

“Like most Americans, I paid my taxes. It is unacceptable for Congress to kick the elderly and people with disabilities out of their homes while allowing the rich and corporate tax cheats to pay less than me,” said Charlotte Delgado, an elderly, disabled Section 8 Voucher tenant in California and an elected NAHT Board member.

Tuesday’s demonstration will feature tenant leaders from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C. for the annual conference of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT), the nation’s only national tenants union. They will be joined by tenants and homeless people from DC, including Empower DC, ONE DC, and the Community for Creative Non-Violence.

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The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to ending America’s affordable housing crisis. Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, NLIHC educates, organizes and advocates to ensure decent, affordable housing within healthy neighborhoods for everyone. NLIHC provides up-to-date information, formulates policy and educates the public on housing needs and the strategies for solutions.

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