WASHINGTON (October 10, 2007)–In a letter sent October 9, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urged members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007 (HR2895), as a way for the federal government to help keep its promise of a decent home for every citizen.
Signed by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, chairman of the USCCB's Domestic Policy Committee, the letter called on Congress to support the bill to help address a severe nationwide shortage of affordable housing and let the people of the United States know that the housing needs of low income families are a national priority.
Quoting from The State of the Nation's Housing 2007, a report from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing, the bishops reported that "housing affordability remains a pervasive problem. In just one year, the number of households with housing cost burdens in excess of 30 percent of income climbed by 2.3 million, hitting a record 37.5 million in 2005." Currently, the bishops pointed out, there exists no state in the union where a minimum wage earner can afford to rent even a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
"We must put in place a sustainable source of funds to build affordable housing," Bishop DiMarzio concluded. Supporting this bill is "one way to demonstrate how vitally important housing is to the well-being of families and our communities."
The full text of the letter can be obtained by logging on to http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/Letter%20to%20House.pdf