COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING COMMITTEE
PRESERVING AND EXPANDING SECTION 8
WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has been at the forefront on pressing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Congress for the preservation and expansion of Section 8 and other affordable housing; and
WHEREAS, despite experiencing the greatest economic expansion in history, worst case housing needs have reached an all-time high of 5.4 million families in 1997; and
WHEREAS, HUD funding for affordable housing production has been drastically reduced and the 1986 tax reform law greatly slowed the production of market rate multi-unit housing; and
WHEREAS, during 1999, HUD announced an emergency policy initiative (Notice HUD H99-15) to provide higher contract rent renewal offers to owners of certain below-market properties with expiring contracts; and
WHEREAS, Congress ultimately codified this "mark up" policy in law, along with new authority for HUD to preserve other expiring properties ineligible for funding under the lawís specific criteria and for HUD to provide "enhanced vouchers" that protect tenants facing market-rate conversions through prepayments and opt-outs; and
WHEREAS, Congress is still considering proposed legislation that would provide additional federal funds on a matching basis to state and local government to preserve existing federally subsidized or assisted housing; and
WHEREAS, the Congress and the Administration in 1997 concluded a Balanced Budget Agreement that provides sufficient budget authority over the five-year period from FY 1998-2002 to renew all expiring Section 8 tenant-based and project-based contracts and units, and Congress has provided sufficient annual appropriations for that purpose; and
WHEREAS, the Administrationís FY 2001 budget projects a need for approximately $13 billion in new budget authority to renew all expiring Section 8 project-based and tenant-based contracts on approximately 2.6 million units and provide tenant protections where contracts are terminated, including sufficient to preserve some below-market properties by "marking up" rents to market levels and to protect tenants with "enhanced vouchers";
WHEREAS, the Administrationís FY 2001 budget also requests Congress to fund 120,000 incremental vouchers to meet growing affordable housing needs, 10,000 of which are proposed to be allocated to States for distribution with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to secure units for very low-income tenants; and
WHEREAS, the Administration announced in March a unanticipated $5 billion surplus of FHA insurance funds, and the President request that HUD develop recommendations on how to use these funds to strengthen federal housing programs and expand affordable opportunities,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors commends HUD and Congressí leadership for working together with USCM and the housing community in taking recent steps to preserve existing affordable housing, and strongly urges:
The President and the Congress to preserve affordable housing stock by adopting tax policies that specifically encourage the transfer of properties to qualified community-based nonprofit organizations and public agencies, or other purchasers to commit to equivalent long-term affordability restrictions, which demonstrate residents support and commitment to meeting the needs of residents and make changes to the tax code which would encourage production of multi-unit development.
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