Tag Archive for: bipartisan

Infrastructure week to include focus on housing

In advance of Infrastructure Week later this month, Congress is abuzz with talk of an infrastructure package again this week, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Chuck Schumer visiting President Trump at the White House to discuss this opportunity for bipartisan compromise. Housing advocates, including HAC, have long emphasized that housing is infrastructure and that such a package needs to include housing funding and priorities alongside repairs to our nation’s roads and bridges.

And in a letter to the President in advance of the meeting, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer said just that – listing housing among the other infrastructure needs that they hoped to address.

Building on that momentum, House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters held a hearing and released an accompanying bill on housing infrastructure this week. The bill includes funding for a variety of programs, including USDA’s MPR program and Section 504, as well as Native American Housing Block Grants.

The reach of housing investment can be deep and transformative, especially in rural areas. It is an economic driver and a job creator, it improves health and education outcomes, and it gives rural Americans a sense of pride in their community and hope for its future. As these conversations continue in the halls of government, we hope that rural housing continues to be a voice at the table.

After all, we need to invest in both our roads and what’s at the end of them – our homes.


Moises Loza's Statement on the Trump Administration's "Skinny" Budget

Statement from Moises Loza, Housing Assistance Council (HAC) Executive Director in Response to the Administration’s Budget Proposal:

Moises Loza, HAC's Executive DirectorMoises Loza, HAC’s Executive DirectorI began my career in rural housing in 1973, and over the decades, I’ve been heartened as Republican and Democratic advocates for sensible rural priorities on Capitol Hill have worked together toward a stronger rural America. Such efforts are needed now more than ever.

The proposed budget would upend efforts by hard-working low-income families who put forth sweat equity to construct their own modest homes.  It eliminates clean water and sewer investments which are essential to poor rural and tribal communities. The elimination of HOME and CDBG programs would undermine local efforts to provide decent housing, community facilities, and a foundation for economic development in rural communities. And de-funding national rural capacity building programs sends a stark message to the private sector:  Rural America is not worthy of investment. 

I have and will continue to invite Administration officials to see the firsthand impact of the investments that they propose to eliminate.  I am confident that such interactions with rural America’s most vulnerable and the HAC partners working to meet their needs would convince even the most cynical of the impact of the programs slated for de-funding.

Moreover, the wholesale nature of the proposed cuts and the accompanying austerity would exacerbate the opioid crisis, which is also a housing infrastructure issue. The strains on the rural social fabric are many, and the budget proposal, if enacted, would represent a breaking point for local and county governments in the persistently poor communities where HAC works.

I join my colleagues and HAC’s partners across the country in hoping that members of Congress will see the disproportionately deep impact of the proposed cuts on our rural and tribal communities. 

HAC Praises Bipartisan Congressional Action on Affordable Housing

The Kansas City Star recently published a Letter to the Editor submitted jointly by HAC Executive Director Moises Loza and Housing Specialist Stephanie Nichols in praise of HR 3700, the bipartisan housing legislation which recently passed through Congress. The full text of the letter as it appears on the Stars’ website appears below.

Bipartisan effort

Last week, to minimal fanfare, Congress unanimously passed HR 3700, substantive housing legislation that saves money, cuts red tape and increases opportunities for our most vulnerable to live in decent homes and safe neighborhoods.

Leveraging their leadership on a key Financial Services subcommittee, Missouri congressmen Blaine Luetkemeyer and Emanuel Cleaver eschewed partisanship and brought together a disparate coalition of industries, nonprofits and social-justice advocates to support the bill, also known as the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act.

Missourians ought to know that two of their congressmen did the hard work of legislating instead of grandstanding, and the low-income communities that we serve are stronger because of their actions.

Moises Loza
Executive Director
Housing AssistanceCouncil

Stephanie Nichols
Midwestern office
Program manager
Kansas City

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article91127752.html#storylink=cpy