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Call Congress today: Fund the National Housing Trust Fund!
May 20, 2010
Homelessness is complicated, but in the end, we believe that people are homeless because they can't find housing they can afford. Today, there is something YOU can do about it.
The National Housing Trust Fund aims create 1.5 million units of affordable housing within ten years - and tomorrow, the House will debate H.R. 4213, which would fund NHTF with $1 billion. With your help, the bill will move on to the Senate next week. (H.R. 4213 also includes funding for a variety of programs that low-income Americans need, including the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund. More info is available here).
Here's what you can do:
1. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
2. Ask for your Congressional Representative. If you're not sure who that is, you can find out here.
3. Ask for the staffer who works on housing.
4. Urge them to continue their support for preventing and ending homelessness in your community by voting YES on H.R. 4213. Here's what you can say:
I am deeply concerned about homelessness in my community, but I know the way to end homelessness is to house people. I'm calling to ask you to fund the National Housing Trust Fund.
The National Housing Trust Fund is critical for efforts to prevent and end homelessness. The majority of the people who enter the homeless system have experienced some sort of crisis that causes them to lose their housing. At least 75% of NHT funds funds for rental housing would be aimed at extremely low income households.
H.R. 4213, the "tax extender bill," would provide $1 billion for the NHTF and an additional $65 million for project-based vouchers to be released in conjunction with capital grants. Please vote yes on H.R. 4213 today.
5. Hang up, then call back: follow steps 1-5 for both your Senators!
Want more information? Courtesy of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, here are some important facts about NHTF.
- The housing trust fund will, once capitalized, provide communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental homes that are affordable for extremely and very low income households.
- It is a permanent program, and will have dedicated source of funding not subject to the annual appropriations process.
- At least 90% of the funds must be used for the production, preservation, rehabilitation, or operation of rental housing.
Stay tuned to this blog for advocacy updates!