WHEREAS, the United States faces a crisis of individuals and families who lack affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, an estimated five million renter households in the United States have worst case housing needs, defined as households who pay mor than one-half of their income for rent or live in severely substandard housing; and

WHEREAS, there is also a need to preserve existing affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, homeownership is the primary vehicle to improve individual economic well being and create wealth for households and neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, public housing continues to play a significant role in the ability of cities to maintain a diverse population and respond to the needs of a wide range of citizens; and

WHEREAS, more than 3.5 million households have special needs for housing with supportive services which are needed to stabilize these households and to allow them to progress to more permanent solutions; and

WHEREAS, financial assistance from the Federal Government is a critical element to facilitate and sustain the efforts of local governments to produce and preserve affordable housing; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors hereby urges the Congress to create an affordable rental housing production and preservation element within the HOME program authorized at a funding level of at least $2 billion, with no less than 60 percent of the funds allocated directly to local governments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to fund the Community Development Block Grant Formula Program at $5 billion and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program at $2.25 billion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to reauthorize HOPE VI for an additional ten years and funded at levels recommended by the Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing $1 billion per year; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to fund:

  • Section 202 at $760 million annually for new construction and rental assistance,
  • $250 million should be appropriated for modernization of up to 32,000 units of elderly housing, with a priority for accessibility and the delivery of supportive services,
  • $50 million should be appropriated to preserve elderly housing, permitting nonprofit organizations to purchase elderly housing projects with expiring Section 8 contracts,
  • Section 811 funding for the disabled should be increased to prior levels at $400 million, and
  • McKinney Act homeless assistance grants should be increased to $1.8 billion.