The U.S. Conference of Mayors
2007 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING

A RESOLUTION TO DEVELOP NEW MODELS STRENGTHENING LOW-INCOME HOME OWNERSHIP INTEGRATING WEATHERIZTION, HOME REHABILITATION AND RELATED PROGRAM RESOURCES

WHEREAS, home ownership is one of the primary vehicles for low- and moderate-income families to build assets and strengthen neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, rising energy prices and sub-prime lending is threatening the ability of millions of low-income families to own and retain their homes; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has established many programs to sustain low income housing and dedicates a considerable sum of resources to this area; and

WHEREAS, because these programs were not designed with coordination amongst them in mind, their varied requirements unnecessarily increase the administrative burden on local governments and the agencies that deliver these services and prevent attaining the full potential they could realize if used to promote low-income home ownership in a coordinated, synergistic way; and

WHEREAS, a new initiative, the Weatherization, Rehab and Asset Preservation (WRAP) Partnership program has partnered with mayors in a number of cities to develop an integrated program that brings together grant resources with energy efficient mortgage refinancing and has shown considerable promise to provide new models of sustaining low- and moderate-income home ownership; and

WHEREAS, some of the barriers to achieving a synergistic effect of federal programs amongst each other and with others have been the varied requirements each federal program has in defining and documenting household income, proof of homeownership, qualification of a housing unit for repeat assistance (even after the useful life of prior assistance has ended or ownership has changed), and the impact of minor repairs on historic properties; and

WHEREAS, mayors do not currently have "waiver authority" from the U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to eliminate these program differences, streamline application processes and creatively integrate program resources, similar to the "waiver authority" provided to Governors under Medicaid, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVE that the United States Conference of Mayors supports the federal government granting Mayors the ability to request waivers from the HUD, HHS and DOE that simplify and encourage integration of program resources including the stream-lining of program requirements to support models of low income homeownership that build on lessons learned by Mayors participating in the WRAP Partnership to provide low- and moderate-income homeowners alternatives to predatory lending when they seek energy efficiency, accessibility, and health and safety home-improvements.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org