Washington – Public-private partnerships and a non-profit business model are needed to address a critical shortage of affordable housing that is forcing substandard living conditions onto middle class Americans, National CORE CEO Steve PonTell told Congress.
In written testimony March 22 before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, PonTell said the federal government’s top-down approach to affordable housing no longer works. That model relies on public housing agencies using tens of billions of dollars in annual subsidies to support project- and tenant-based low-income housing programs.
“The shortfalls and challenges of this approach are becoming increasingly obvious,” PonTell said. “A tight federal budget environment has squeezed funding for these programs, public housing agencies have very limited resources to develop new units, and the stock of existing units continues to shrink as a result of decades old buildings not being adequately rehabilitated and maintained.”
Well-run nonprofit community builders are able to leverage available state and federal funding with other sources of private financing, while also providing “critically needed services to residents,” PonTell said.
About National CORE, Hope through Housing
National Community Renaissance, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. National CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate units in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. Over the past two decades, its Hope through Housing partners have provided more than 2 million hours in supportive services to enhance quality of life, including preschool, afterschool, senior wellness and upward mobility programs. For more information on both organizations, please visit www.nationalcore.org.