By Dennis Archambault
The lack of low income housing — and funding to create new housing — has been well-documented and remains a critical determinant of health for vulnerable populations in the Detroit region. The pressure of mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy from health care costs, and job loss can send people immediately into homelessness, notes Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLHC). “They face threats of eviction, poor housing conditions and are severely cost burdened, paying upwards of 80 percent of their income towards rent each month. The lack of affordable housing not only creates stress and negative outcomes for their children and families, it increases both poverty levels and costs to the federal government.”
An “anti-poverty agenda” introduced by the Republican members of the House of Representatives, includes an updated approach to funding low income housing. It ties accessibility to assistance to those willing to look for work and by prioritizing funding for those who really need it. Currently, according to the NLHC, 75 percent of homeowners. Yentel agrees with focusing housing aid to those most in need, while expresses skepticism around for the concept of requiring work-ability.
While offering hope that the Republican philosophy can translate into more efficient and effective resource allocation, and a willingness to collaborate, Yentel offers an advocates thoughtful reflection on the proposal, which is likely to factor into the Republican Party’s platform discussions in Cleveland. Check out the commentary at: http://nlihc.org/article/nlihc-update-republican-anti-poverty-agenda-statement-diane-yentel-nlihc-president-and-ceo.
Dennis Archambault is vice president, Public Affairs, for Authority Health.