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Statement by National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Sheila Crowley on Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON - October 1 - Today, the U.S. government shut down for the first time in 17 years as a result of Congress failing to agree on FY14 spending levels. This failure to act by Congress marks another missed opportunity to address the critical state of affordable housing in our country.
There is a nationwide shortage of 7.1 million rental homes that are affordable and available for extremely low income households (incomes of 30% or less of the area median). So long as the federal government is shutdown, key low income housing programs are unable to advance, and we can only expect the shortage of affordable housing to worsen in the coming year.
We have all watched in dismay as Congress repeatedly delayed establishing adequate FY14 funding levels for HUD’s main rental programs, which assist approximately five million households, and other essential housing programs. Congress must act now; the housing stability of our most low income households will remain uncertain until sufficient FY14 funding levels are agreed upon.
At a time when millions of low income households are forced to spend unsustainable levels of income on housing costs, we cannot afford to stall addressing our country's alarming shortage of affordable housing.
I urge Members of Congress to act swiftly in establishing fair and sufficient FY14 funding levels that would adequately serve the housing needs of our most vulnerable families.