On May 22nd, CHAPA held a Breakfast Forum: Doing Business in Times of Uncertainty at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston where presenters shined a light on what is to come for affordable housing in Massachusetts. Speakers included Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary of the Department of Housing and Community Development and Tim Sullivan, Executive Director of MassHousing. Panelists representing WinnDevelopment, Preservation of Affordable Housing, MA Housing Investment Corp., Citizens Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and DHCD emphasized that the nature of the affordable housing business is always uncertain and that there have been many times of uncertainty over the past several decades. The panel acknowledged the high degree of political uncertainty of these times and the challenging road ahead. They also offered many examples of how partners in the industry can be creative in order to continue to develop affordable housing that is accessible to families of low and middle incomes. Proposed and actualized federal policy changes are threatening families of very low income and those in the business of affordable housing, one panelist remarked, must be thoughtful in how they respond to the increased challenges for families.
David Gasson, Vice President and Director of Communications at Boston Capital gave a really intriguing presentation on policy changes to expect from DC in the coming months. David spoke to the concerns the President has raised by threatening to reduce the low income housing tax credit to 15%. (The low income housing tax credit promotes the preservation and development of affordable housing.) David reported that this tax credit has very good standing on Capitol Hill, and strong bi-partisan support. He said that affordable housing programs, generally speaking, enjoy bi-partisan support and that congress would not get behind this kind of cut. If there is broad tax reform, which the President’s administration has been talking about doing, it will likely take 5 years to transition to any new laws that are passed.
Still, proposals coming from the President and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, raise significant concerns about the future of affordable housing policy and the well-being of all families living in poverty. So we need you to take action!
Ways to Take Action at the Federal Level on CHAPA’s and Homes for Families’ priority areas:
- Call/Email your members of congress to tell them you would like them to prioritize affordable housing, programs that support families experiencing homelessness, and critical support programs like SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Include something about your personal experience or story to illustrate why these issues matter to you. You can look up your members of congress here.
- Sign up for CHAPA’s email list and join a CHAPA committee.
- Join CHAPA’s young professional’s network.
Homes for Families supports CHAPA’s agenda and will continue to keep the fight for the housing, shelter and critical support service needs of families in Massachusetts a priority!
Director of Operations and Member Engagement