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President disappoints housing group.

In response to last week's State of the Union Address, the National Housing Conference urged the administration to strengthen its focus on affordable housing.

While the President did mention housing in his speech, touching on record new home construction and homeownership rates, NHC was disappointed that he did not specifically detail the Administration's affordable housing objectives.

In addition, although his remarks included a new proposal that clearly recognizes the importance of transitional housing with regard to successful prisoner re-entry efforts, it did not acknowledge the millions of low- to moderate-income families, many of them working, that still lack one of themost integral and basic needs--decent, affordable housing.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that good housing promotes family stability, creates positive environments for children and supports success in the job market.

However, not only are many families unable to realize the American dream of home ownership, they continue to struggle to find decent, affordable rental housing.

As a result, NHC urges the Administration to incorporate key affordable housing initiatives and increased funding into its domestic agenda and FY 2005 budget proposal.

"Decent, affordable housing, does matter to both America's families and to the communities to which they contribute. Yet, many of our vital workers, such as teachers and police officers, are still struggling to find decent, affordable rental housing," said NHC President Conrad Egan. "For this reason, in its domestic agenda and upcoming fiscal year 2005 budget proposal, the Administration must include key initiatives and increased funding aimed at ensuring affordable housing for all of the nation's families."

Support for the growing need to focus on affordable housing can be found in a recent study entitled Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America, conducted by NHC's research affiliate the Center for Housing Policy.

The study found that none of America's elementary school teachers, police officers, licensed practical nurses, retail salespersons or janitors would qualify to purchase a median-priced home based on median income.

The data also indicated that in all but two of the 60 metropolitan areas studied, both janitors and retail salespersons are unable to rent a one-bedroom apartment.
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Title Annotation:Construction & Design Section B
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 28, 2004
Previous Article:Nelson starts work on $50M West Side project.
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