Post-election several industry organizations and leaders are weighing in on the future of the economy and affordable housing and encouraging bipartisanship solutions. Here are those excerpts:
Michael Bodaken, president, National Housing Trust:
“The long campaign is now over. We're not Red States or Blue States. We're the United States. It's time to come together. With the 2012 election behind us, President Obama and the newly elected Congress now turn to the difficult task of reaching an agreement to prevent the nation from going over the fiscal cliff. That agreement requires compromise on all our parts. There are tough choices ahead.
Those choices will affect our nation's economic future. Affordable housing production is inextricably linked to that future. Our economy is slowly healing but remains on shaky ground. The current plan to reduce the deficit, called sequestration, requires arbitrarily cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal budget through 2021. If not stopped, sequestration would bring a halt to our country's fragile economic growth.
Investing in affordable housing creates jobs, generates income, keeps people healthy and saves the government money.
…The time is now for us to put aside our political differences. Let's work together to find a balanced approach to address our nation's deficit that produces jobs and ultimately saves the U.S. government millions of dollars. Seems like a pretty easy decision to me.”
Chris Estes, president and CEO, National Housing Conference
“There is much work to do for leaders in both parties. Both parties must recognize that the economic recovery that we are all looking for cannot occur without a housing recovery, which will take strong and careful policies to create. Housing solutions have not yet played the necessary central role in the federal response to the financial crisis and economic downturn. Even as home prices are finally beginning to rise again in some places, many other areas still struggle and housing costs outpace incomes for millions of Americans. The Obama administration in its second term must work with the new Congress to:
- Strengthen our housing finance system, so that there are multiple efficient channels of capital for homeownership and rental homes. Government’s role is essential for ensuring stable and liquid housing finance.
- Rebuild communities damaged by foreclosures, while strengthening the foreclosure prevention policies that limit further aftershocks from the crisis. New federal resources should accompany better effort to coordinate neighborhood stabilization efforts.
- Plan communities for the future, by better aligning housing, transportation, environmental, health, and other policies. We need to build communities where people can live near where they work, access the services and amenities they demand, live healthier, and provide opportunities for people of all incomes living in urban, suburban, and rural America.
- Create a stronger, balanced federal housing policy that provides essential housing assistance, draws in private capital and entrepreneurship, and provides both homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all in America.
We recognize that our nation faces significant challenges to both strengthen the economy and reduce our deficit. We cannot achieve the needed recovery if vital housing investments are dramatically reduced or eliminated. At NHC our guiding principle is we are all stronger together. Now is the time for members of both parties to recognize this as well. It is time for practical governance to replace partisan division.
We hope that the clear mandate granted by this election encourages Democrats, Republicans, and independents to focus together on the real housing challenges facing the country. With the election behind us, we can be truly stronger together—creating a strong federal housing policy can set us on the path forward to a housing and economic recovery.”