Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Millennial Housing Commission Releases Final Report

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Millennial Housing Commission Releases Final Report

Article excerpt

The final report of the Millennial Housing Commission (MHC), released last month, provides a new vision in addressing the nation's housing concerns. The report's recommendations focus on three key categories: new tools, major reforms and streamlining of existing programs.

In December 2000, the commission was created to examine and analyze the current housing challenges facing the nation. The goals of the commission were to explore the importance of affordable housing in the United States and to discover various possible methods for increasing private sector roles in providing affordable housing.

Certain methods of improvement were stressed throughout the commission's report such as the importance of local/state decision making and blending funds for community building, neighborhood revitalization and sustaining housing structures with long-term goals of preservation and commitment.

The link between housing and the community in which it is located was noted as a key to reform and success. A few of the commission recommendations include:

* Implementing economic policies such as tax credits, capital subsidies and tax exemptions to stimulate private investment and local governmental investment (cities, counties and preservation organizations);

* Streamlining the Federal Housing Administration into a government corporation within the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with private investment and markets being the central focus;

* Revising federal budget laws that allow HUD and private investors to enter into contracts with multiyear funding thus providing owners attractive and advantageous financing; and

* Increasing economic opportunities and personal responsibilities with stronger work requirements in conjunction with current welfare assistance.

The commission also recommends that Congress end chronic homelessness (frequent and long term homelessness) in 10 years by approving legislation providing annual set-aside funding for supportive permanent housing. …

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