The success achieved by Housing America in gaining support for their pressure of the federal government to focus on affordable housing is due in part to their targeted, grassroots appeals to their constituents.
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Housing America is taking on a new challenge, and we thought you might be interested in joining the fray.
As you know, the building of new, affordable housing for low-income housing is not a project that the politicians in Washington want to initiate. It’s an unwieldy project that is not politically sexy and carries a hefty price tag. But with the numbers of families in “worst-case” housing swelling to 5.4 million and the private market driving rents out of range for the working poor while Section 8 vouchers become increasingly difficult for recipients to use, it is really the only choice to solve this housing crisis. We need the federal government to invest in large-scale new construction of affordable housing.
We have a great opportunity to make real progress on building new affordable housing, but we need to capitalize on this opportunity with a strong grassroots effort. The Federal Housing Administration recently announced a budget surplus of $16 billion, $5 billion more than anticipated. President Clinton has asked Jacob Lew, Director of the Office of Management & Budget (the White House budget arm), and Andrew Cuomo, Secretary of HUD, to decide what to do with this $5 billion by this summer. In the past, FHA surplus funds have been directed back to the Treasury for general use, but that is money generated from housing programs and HOUSING MONEY MUST BE USED TO ADDRESS HOUSING PROBLEMS. We need to convince them that there is the political will for new construction by sending a strong, unified message.
At this point, Housing America has joined forces with National People’s Action and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness to mobilize grassroots voices across the country. Together, we are working to generate thousands of postcards to urge Jacob Lew to recommend building new affordable housing with this $5 billion. The clock is ticking so we must get our voices heard quickly and we need your help.
If your organization is interested in gathering postcards, please contact us as soon as possible. Let us know how many postcards you need and where we should send them. A decision from Jacob Lew is due by the end of July, so we’ll be delivering postcards to him throughout May and June. If you can help at any point and at any level, it will make a significant difference.
This effort will only be successful with your help.
If you have any questions, please contact me at HousingAmerica@juno.com or at 212-219-3976.
National Field Coordinator
P.S. This is only the first step in a long fight for building new affordable housing, and we’ll need your grassroots help throughout the fight. If you’re not interested in assisting with the postcards but would like to help in other capacities (i.e. participating in media events, district meetings, hearings, letter-writing etc.) please let us know.
Housing America 1673 E. 16th Street, #56, Brooklyn NY 11229 phone: 212-219-3976 fax: 212-965-0053 NEW WEBSITE: http://www.housingamerica.net