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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

New Recommendations Seek Bipartisanship in Improving Access to Housing

Feature Story by civilrights.org staff - 10/6/2004

Access to housing should be a national priority of the White House and Congress, according to a new report titled “Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy.”

The report, which includes 12 recommendations for improving housing conditions in the Unites States, was co-authored by former U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretaries Jack Kemp, who served during the first Bush administration; Henry Cisneros, who served during the Clinton administration; Kent Colton, former CEO of the National Association of Home Builders; and Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

In announcing the report’s release, Kemp said he and the other authors of the report, who he referred to as the “band of brothers,” have an important goal to begin dialogue again about housing issues – particularly in the current campaign season.

“There is much debate to be added about this issue,” Kemp said. “We want to make sure that housing will be part of the campaign…and that after the election, the debate will still exist.”

Colton emphasized the importance of bipartisanship to address the issue.

“We need to create a dialogue in the two parties,” stressed Colton, “It is our only chance to move forward.”

The report includes recommendations on ending chronic homelessness; protecting and expanding the Housing Choice Voucher program; establishing a national housing trust fund; promoting the formation of public, private, and nonprofit coalitions to facilitate barrier removal; vigorously enforcing the nation’s fair housing and fair lending laws; and prohibiting predatory lending.