Larsen Votes to Help More Northwest Washington Families Afford a Home</A

Oct 11, 2007

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) has voted in favor of the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007 (H.R. 2895), legislation to create a national affordable housing trust fund to help states and local communities build or preserve 1.5 million houses or apartments over the next 10 years. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 264 to 148.

Under the legislation passed by the House, all National Affordable Housing Trust Fund dollars must go to low and moderate-income Americans, with at least 75 percent of trust fund dollars reserved for extremely low-income families. The trust fund will be created without increasing government spending or the federal deficit by using revenue generated by reforms to the Federal Housing Administration, with some funds coming from the investment portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Too many families in our community don’t know where they’ll sleep from one night to the next,” said Larsen. “This legislation will increase the availability of affordable housing so more hard-working families have a home to call their own.”

In Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties, a modest one-bedroom apartment is normally beyond the reach of a full-time worker earning the minimum wage, according to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. And Northwest Washington isn’t alone in facing a dearth of affordable housing – the same report shows that there is not a single city or county in the United States where someone working full time for the mini­mum wage can afford even a modest one-bedroom apartment on their own.

Across the country, approximately 750,000 Americans are homeless on any given night. In Washington state alone, more than 50,000 people depend on community shelters, according to the 2002-2003 Emergency Shelter Assistance Program (ESAP) report.