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Affordable Housing Fund Amendment Offered in U.S. Senate; Vote on Thursday


LANSING, Mich., July 27 -- Michigan’s lowest income families are one step closer to affordable housing thanks to an amendment offered in Washington, D.C., July 26. Senate Banking Committee member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) filed the amendment to S. 190, a bill focused on the regulatory reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, establishing a new affordable housing fund targeted to extremely low income households.

The bill will face committee mark-up this Thursday, July 28 at 10 a.m. The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) urges Senator Stabenow consider the benefit of the Reed amendment for Michigan families.

The Affordable Housing Fund would use a minute percentage of funds, based on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s business volume, to create, preserve and rehabilitate affordable homes for families who earn at or below 30 percent of the area median income, that is annual household income under $19,000 in Michigan. Current rent requires over working over 100 hours a week for housing that is affordable (30 percent of income) at minimum wage.

“This is a huge development for low income individuals in Michigan,” said Christina Riddle, MCAH’s director. “Currently residents spend so much of their income on housing that there is often little left for food or transportation. An Affordable Housing Fund would help those who need it most.” Increased costs for housing are responsible for the rise in homelessness, especially for children in Michigan. “Right now, Michigan is short over 150,000 units of affordable housing based on the numbers of residents with very low and extremely low income. And that number is growing,” says Riddle. The decline in Michigan wages is only making matters worse.

MCAH is a Coalition representing the homeless and the providers who seek to improve the quality of services to persons who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. It is in the interest of Michigan to decrease the incidence of homelessness. “It costs the state and local communities more to let folks become homeless than to provide housing supports to keep them housed,” reports Riddle, who is certain the benefits of the Affordable Housing amendment to SB 190 will outweigh any costs to the Freddie or Fannie programs. That in turn is good for Michigan.


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