How many people have you worked with who have experienced—or are experiencing—homelessness? How many have had to rely on family members or friends to take them in because they are unable to afford their own home?
Some of the facts about housing in Michigan:
· It is virtually impossible for the more than 184,000 people with disabilities in Michigan who are living on the SSI payment of $712 per month to afford rental housing in the community (unless if they have some type of permanent rental subsidy).
· There are only 28 affordable housing units available for every 100 extremely low income renters; a shortage of 234,068 units of available affordable housing.
· The affordable housing units that are available are not always accessible.
· People with disabilities need opportunities to live in their chosen community in affordable, accessible, integrated housing.
Funding for the National Housing Trust Fund would help build affordable, accessible housing for people with very low incomes.
For every $5 billion invested in the National Housing Trust Fund, Michigan would receive an estimated $146,100,000 to build and preserve affordable housing for extremely low income people.
The National Housing Trust Fund, established 2008 by federal law to focus on housing for very low income people, was to be funded through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. However, when the economic crisis hit, funding stopped, leaving the opportunity to gain affordable housing unrealized.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition has proposed a way to raise money for the National Housing Trust Fund.
The proposal changes the current mortgage interest deduction to a non-refundable 15% tax credit for mortgages under $500,000.
99.3% of mortgages in Michigan are under $500,000 and would qualify for the credit.
Based on a $100,000 mortgage, the average married household with two children would have paid $449 in 2012 under the current plan. With the proposed plan they would not owe anything, saving them $449.
People with low incomes need access to affordable, accessible housing. The National Housing Fund will bring this much-needed housing to Michigan, and at the same time improve the economy as it brings our communities jobs and increases net household funds for the majority of homeowners.
You can help by asking your organization and partners to sign on as endorsers. It takes only a couple minutes, and can be done online at http://nlihc.org/unitedforhomes/support.
To learn more about the National Low Income Housing Coalition and to see a list of current endorsers in Michigan and nationally, visit www.nlihc.org.
Michigan Disability Rights Coalition is heading up the statewide United for Homes Campaign. Please feel free to contact us at (800) 760-4600 with questions or to get involved.
Intern-MSW Candidate, Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
NASW Michigan Member