Affordable housing across the U.S. is a crisis indeed (“Press officials for affordable housing solutions,” The Herald, June 7).
Nationwide, only 37 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. It’s worse for the merely low-income renters. Stable housing improves job performance and helps our kids stay happy, healthy and safe, and they do better in school. Between 2006 and 2015, the median income in Washington state has increased 3 percent, but the median rent increased by 18 percent.
Did you know that nearly half of all renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent? The great news is that our very own Sen. Maria Cantwell, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene and many other bipartisan U.S. Senate and House legislators across many states have recently introduced sweeping legislation to help solve the housing issue. This new bill, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019, works to expand and strengthen the decades old bipartisan-supported Affordable Housing Tax Credit.
For Washington state alone, this new housing bill would provide more than 11,000 jobs and add over $1 billion to our state’s economy in wages and business income. We can call the Washington, D.C. offices of Sen. Cantwell (202-224-3441), and Rep. DelBene (202-225-6311) to thank them. And we can ask Sen. Patty Murray (202-224-2621) to sign on to the bill if she hasn’t already. The aide who takes the call will be happy to relay your short message.
Donna Schindler Munro