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April 27, 2023

Reps. Schiff, Clarke Introduce Interagency Council on Affordable Housing Act

Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) introduced the Interagency Council on Affordable Housing Act. This legislation would create an Interagency Council on Affordable Housing and Preservation – similar to the structure of the existing U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness – that would advise on preserving and strengthening existing affordable housing, public housing, and federal housing voucher assistance programs. 

As of 2022, rent was increasing at the fastest rate since 1986, leaving countless Americans without any housing options and left to face eviction, instability, and homelessness — with families of color disproportionately at risk. Currently, 11 million extremely low-income households pay at least half of their income toward housing. The National Low Income Housing Coalition states that not one single state can meet the demand for safe, affordable housing. Only 33 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. 

The Interagency Council on Affordable Housing and Preservation would conduct research, analyze, and provide recommendations that target affordable housing preservation, rent gouging, eviction defense, and other fair housing issues— protecting low-income renters, families, and individuals housed through federal housing programs.

“With housing prices through the roof, millions of Americans struggle to find a home they can afford, or to stay in the one they have now. We must find new and innovative ways to bring down the cost of housing and make it more affordable for people. That’s why I’m introducing the Interagency Council on Affordable Housing Act to find solutions and expand the availability of affordable housing. I am grateful to Rep. Clark for joining me in leading this important effort, and urge my colleagues to support this bill to address a crisis that impacts all of our communities,” said Rep. Schiff.

"Housing is a human right, and Congress has a vital responsibility to protect it. Our nation’s dire affordable housing crisis will continue to reach communities across the country if we don’t act with deliberate urgency. Through a new dedicated interagency council, we will ensure every American family relying on housing assistance – whether it be voucher programs, eviction defense programs, rent gouging prevention, or other meaningful programs – maintain the federal aid they need to stay housed, safe, and stable. I’m proud to support this legislation centered in compassion and humanity," said Rep. Clarke.

Earlier this week, Rep. Schiff reintroduced the Fair Housing Improvement Act with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), which would protect veterans and low-income families from housing discrimination.

The Interagency Council on Affordable Housing Act is cosponsored by Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), Troy Carter (D-La.), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington D.C.).

It has received support from The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Citizens’ Housing And Planning Association, The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, LeadingAge, The Los Angeles Coalition to End Youth Homelessness, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, National Community Development Association (NCDA), National Housing Law Project (NHLP), National Immigration Law Center, National Leased Housing Association (NLHA), U.S.Vets, and National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

You can find the full bill text here.