CCD letter to Rep. Frank in support of the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007 (H.R. 2895)

July 12, 2007

Honorable Barney Frank
House Financial Services Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Dear Chairman Frank:

The undersigned members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force are writing to express our strong support for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007 (H.R. 2895).

As you know, people with disabilities, especially those who rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to survive, face a horrendous affordability gap in finding safe, affordable and accessible housing throughout the country.

According to Priced Out in 2006 (which we publish bi-annually with the Technical Assistance Collaborative) on a national average, 4 million Americans with disabilities who rely on a monthly SSI benefit of $632 for all their basic needs would have to pay 113.1 % of their entire monthly income to rent a modest one-bedroom unit - up from 109.6 % in 2004. For the first time, the cost of renting a smaller studio/efficiency rental unit also rose above monthly SSI income (100.1 percent in 2006).

Providing a dedicated source of funding to build, rehabilitate and preserve 1.5 million units of housing over ten years will go a long way toward closing this affordability gap since a significant portion of trust fund dollars will be targeted to extremely low-income individuals, including SSI beneficiaries.

In addition to this severe affordability gap, there is a significant dearth of affordable wheelchair accessible housing in this country. Most of the units that have been built since the new construction requirements of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 became effective are in high cost markets. H.R. 2895 will address this crisis by applying all federal accessibility standards to units built or renovated with Trust Fund dollars.

Thank you for your leadership. We look forward to working with you to pass this important legislation.


American Network of Community Options and Resources
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Easter Seals
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors
Paralyzed Veterans of America
The Arc of the United States
United Cerebral Palsy
United Spinal Association