Sunday, February 8, 2009

Contact your senators!

Or your congresspeople.

I bet you know that congress and the president are hot and heavy over the new stimulus package and the Senate will be voting on it this week -- maybe as soon as Monday or Tuesday. And that the "moderates" are attacking the big price tag attached to the House's plan. At risk are some programs that serve low-income people and would be a critical boost to cities and housing service providers who have been running on fumes through the Bush administration. With pretty dire budget situations on the state and local sides, they really need the federal help to keep up with growing demand for services.

The foreclosure bailouts and homeownership packages get the most press, but there are other programs in the mix: public housing, emergency shelter assistance, programs to facilitate affordable housing production.

Here's a link to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's info on the stimulus bill and the housing funds that are on the table -- with a handy zip code search function to get you your representatives' contact info. Here's another link to find and reach your senators, and one for your congresspeople.

Tell them to invest in the national housing trust fund to support affordable housing production (here's a NY Times editorial on that), as well as long-needed and terribly under-funded upgrades and repairs to public housing and other subsidized housing for low-income people. Tell them to protect the funding included in the House bill for public housing, low income renters, and homelessness prevention. The calls and emails and letters do matter, don't take much time, and don't require much detail. Might as well do what you can.

Ok, I'm done with the pitch -- Go team!

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