Housing – New “Priced Out” Housing Affordability Report Released

The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force have released “Priced Out: The Housing Affordability Crisis for People with Disabilities.” This biennial report documents the nationwide housing affordability crisis experienced by people with disabilities. In 2016, millions of adults with disabilities living solely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) found that renting even a modest one-bedroom unit in their community would require nearly all of their monthly income. In hundreds of higher-cost housing markets, the average rent for such basic units is actually much greater than the entirety of an SSI monthly payment. As outlined in Priced Out, proven solutions to the crisis exist. Visit the Priced Out web site to view the report, summaries, and an interactive tool to help you learn about the affordable housing crisis for people with disabilities in your own state and community.

Housing – House Committee to Mark Up Bill to Suspend Payments to National Housing Trust Fund

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Financial Services will mark up the GSE Jumpstart Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 4560). The bill, introduced by Rep. French Hill (R-AR) would have the impact of suspending funding for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF provides states with dedicated funding for affordable housing, primarily for people with extremely low incomes, a group that includes many people with disabilities. As described in a statement by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “The Housing Trust Fund is funded through a slight fee (0.42%) on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac activity. If enacted, the bill would stop funding for the Housing Trust Fund until Wall Street investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac receive dividend payments. This can only occur when Congress enacts legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been in government conservatorship for nearly a decade.” The Arc strongly opposes H.R. 4560. Visit the Committee web site to learn more and for live video the day of the markup.

Housing – Senate Committee Votes to Approve Carson Nomination

On January 24, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the full Senate confirm Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is the cabinet level department that oversees federal housing programs and enforces housing laws such as the Fair Housing Act. Visit the Committee web site for more information or to view archived video of the hearing.

Housing – Senate Committee Schedules Vote on HUD Secretary Nomination

The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on January 24. HUD is the cabinet level department that oversees federal housing programs and enforces housing laws such as the Fair Housing Act. Visit the Committee web site for more information or to access live video the day of the hearing.

Housing/Prevention – HUD Releases Final Rule on Children’s Lead Levels in Blood

On January 16, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a new rule to ensure a quicker response when young children living in federally owned or assisted housing experience elevated levels of lead in their blood. The rule lowers the Department’s threshold of lead considered safe in a child’s blood to match the more protective guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (µg/dL) to 5. It also establishes more comprehensive testing and evaluation procedures for the housing where such children reside. Childhood lead poisoning has long been documented as causing reduced intelligence, low attention span, and reading and learning disabilities, in additional to behavioral challenges. Read HUD’s new rule here.

Housing – Senate to Hold Confirmation Hearing for Housing Secretary-Designate

On January 12, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Dr. Ben Carson to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is the cabinet level department that oversees federal housing programs and enforces housing laws such as the Fair Housing Act. Visit the Committee web site for more information or to access live video the day of the hearing.

Housing – New Opportunities for State and Local Advocates

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force has published a new fact sheet highlighting two important new opportunities for state and local disability housing advocates: the National Housing Trust Fund and the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing planning process. View thefact sheet to learn more about how to get involved in these new initiatives to increase affordable, accessible, integrated housing in the community for people with disabilities.

Housing – Landlord Accountability Act of 2016 Introduced

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has introduced the Landlord Accountability Act of 2016 (H.R. 5401). The bill would ban housing discrimination based on a tenant’s use of a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. The bill also includes a number of provisions designed to improve living conditions in Department of Housing and Urban Development assisted multifamily housing, including creating a tax credit to incentivize landlords to make repairs to units. The bill was referred to the House Committees on Financial Services, Ways and Means, and Judiciary. Visit Rep. Velázquez’s web site for a summary of the bill.