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tv   Washington Journal Diane Yentel  CSPAN  July 22, 2021 7:04pm-7:49pm EDT

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they experienced and saw that day. watch it tuesday, 9:30 a.m. on c-span three. or listen with the free c-span radio app. host: with us to talk about the new report on the high cost of housing, the president and ceo,
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good morning, welcome to washington journal. tell us what your mission is? guest: it is a membership organization all about advancing federal policy solutions and they have decent and affordable homes. host: talk about your organization's latest report. looking at how much it costs across the country to afford living in this country. to afford rent in this country. how do you put this report together? what do you look at? guest: we talk about what we call the housing wage. how much each -- a person would have to earn each hour to be able to afford to rent a modest apartment.
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the housing wage for a one-bedroom bedroom apartment is $20 an hour. just to rent a modest apartment. clearly this is almost three times as much as the federal minimum wage earned. these are out of reach not just for minimum-wage workers before average renters. it is much higher in many communities throughout the country. host: what is the burden on household? guest: they agree they should not be paying more than 30% of their income towards our rent or housing costs each month to
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ensure we have enough money for life's other necessities. if somebody is paying more than 30% of their income, they are considered to be cost burden. if they are paying more than 50% of their income they are considered to be severely cost burden. pre-pandemic, we had about 10 million household that work low income or extremely low income. at least half of their income was going towards rent, many paying much more. host: looking at how that breaks down by race -- in this most recent report for your organization, 25% of white -- white households work cost burden. how does that compare with recent three covid numbers in terms of the burden?
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guest: there are tremendous racial disparities in the housing and homeless system. certainly our housing system. they have policies that purposely put homeownership out of reach for millions of black americans. this created the generational wealth gap that exists today with 8-12 times as much wealth. these disparities show up in our system. black, latino, and native american people are disproportionately likely to be low income, cost burden. black people make up about 13%
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of the general population. 50% of homeless families with children. they don't happen by accident. host: we will be covering today hearing with the housing secretary coming up this morning at 10:00 eastern. what would you like to see from the biden administration. guest: we are in such a unique moment right now where the federal eviction moratorium -- 6 million renter families are men -- remain falling behind during the pandemic.
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$46 billion in emergency systems that has yet to reach the vast majority of those who need it. the biden administration working appropriately aggressively to get that money to tenants and landlords who need it. even when that money reaches tennants it won't reach the underlying systemic challenges for the lowest income people. the biden administration is proposing over $300 billion in investment towards long-term solutions. we are working with them and congress that they be targeted towards the lowest income people.
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these kind of investments could be transformational. host: we are talking with the president and ceo of the national low income housing coalition. we welcome your calls. if you are a renter, (202) 748-8001 is the line to call. if you are looking to buy a home, that line is (202) 748-8001. for all others the line is (202) 748-8002. how much did the pandemic relief in the past year help renters in particular? guest: the actions of the federal and local government over the past year kept renters who otherwise would've lost their homes, give them a house during the pandemic.
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somehow the eviction moratorium got put in place. early in the pandemic, many places have their own state or citywide moratorium. the moratoriums on their own were only a half measure. the rent is still due and you still need to pay the rent. landlord still need to receive the rent to maintain and operate their properties. that's why it was so important that congress provide a combined $46.5 billion in emergency systems to pay the tenants during the pandemic. now it is about getting that money out and keep renters
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stable. host: going back to the $300 billion figure being proposed on housing and housing efforts, you see the ongoing and federal effort in terms of supporting people not just loewen term housing -- low income housing. guest: we focus on people who are extremely low-income. the private market on its own build, maintain, and operate that are affordable without there being federal subsidies attached to the property. what we push for is expanding rental assistance.
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light now we have a system in our country where only one in every four households received any. we essentially have a housing lottery system but only roughly 25% get the help they need. we are urging the biden administration and congress to stand up. we need to build more apartments and assure they are affordable for the lowest income people. we do that again through federal subsidy. to build and maintain apartments. for middle income people, some communities are struggling to pay the rent. we moved restrictive -- this
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drives up costs for everybody while maintaining and exacerbating other inequities. host: what sort of opportunity do you think this post-pandemic period presents to in terms of creating affordable rental housing? some places office space may no longer be at a premium. what you see? guest: we have always needed a calm -- combination of solutions. many that don't have the supply needed to meet the demand, most communities we need to be building more apartment and make
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them available to the lowest income. the people living in those apartments can afford them. we need to bridge the gap between what people learn -- earn. in this moment there are some big, unique, and important opportunities to use federal resources that would provide to the american rescue plan to purchase some of these hotels and motels that they are looking to sell. to convert them into permanent support. that could be a housing solution , this could be an exit strategy for those families. it creates a permanent affordable housing in that
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community for the long-term. there is high billion dollars going to the home program. they are making the permanent housing and start to address homelessness. host: in a number of places and industries, pay is going up but the federal minimum wage has not gone up. what role does the federal minimum wage pay if you're analyzing this data on affordability. guest: clearly the federal minimum wage needs to be increased. even if we raise that federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, which we should in most communities housing costs will remain out of reach.
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it is a two-tiered solution. we need more solutions and we got some in affordable housing. other low income people who are on a fixed income. host: a reminder for those of you who are renters, that is (202) 748-8000. if you are looking to buy a home, (202) 748-8001. all others, (202) 748-8002. let's go to gym on our renters line. caller: good morning. what a time to be talking about
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low income housing and a billionaire just went to space, that is awesome. i'm in section eight housing, there is no jobs where i am at. that's about all i've got, i'm disgusted. host: just a look there for caller, west virginia's 50th, $14, $.83 per hour -- $14.83 per hour. the minimum wage to afford a two bedroom rental home. guest: jim is certainly not alone. there are millions of people struggling to afford the rent.
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he was somebody was able to receive several housing subsidies. i'm glad he was. they have a tremendous opportunity. it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. congress and the white house negotiating a multitrillion dollar spending package about infrastructure and certainly housing is infrastructure. it is about expanding opportunities for families and individuals throughout the country. the president propose $300 billion in investment. some members of congress like chairwoman maxine waters. they are proposing 20, over $600
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billion of investment. if we are sure if they expand the system, expanding the trust fund. to what is affordable housing that already exist, it will have a transformational effect to end homelessness and housing properties. we have to urge our members of congress to ensure this major spending bill includes the level of investment needed in the right investments and housing. host: next up is patrick in louisville, kentucky. looking to buy a home. patrick, make sure you make of all -- you mute your volume.
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patrick in louisville, kentucky, you are on the air. we will go to michael in to macula, call -- in california also looking to buy a home. caller: good morning. i live in temecula, california. the available housing for people looking to purchase here is very limited. it also affects the cost of rent . i live in a small bedroom apartment and pay almost $1500 a month now. it has cost me $400,000. i guess my question would be.
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to make sure there is enough housing being built to keep up and accommodate for those of us who are going from the position to the purchasing position. guest: thanks for the question. there's a tremendous challenge for people looking to purchase a home. especially the lower income people. they are really being shut out in many communities. that has been true for some time. there is simply a lock of -- lack of supply. we are not building enough homes to accommodate the number of
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people who need them and wish to purchase. that is due to a variety of reasons including some astronomically increasing costs for lumber and other costs. the whole process for constructing homes slows down. there's many more people looking to buy homes then there are homes available to purchase. the cost of the supply chains. looking for ways that the federal government could engage and provide resources for more
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first-time buyers. it is something they are really prioritizing. we need to be building more apartments and more homes in general. for low income people, we need additional assistance and counseling as well. host: on our renters line is rick in annapolis, maryland. caller: am i on? host: go ahead. caller: thank you, very much. really appreciate you representing the section eight landlords and owners across this country. we need more section eight housing nationwide. in 1965, the small group went to
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all of our cities, chicago, detroit, baltimore, d.c., they financed, developed, and to this day own and manage the section eight project. there's 42 million blacks in the country today. 70% are being housed in those projects throughout our cities. the worst school systems, no chance to get out. when they die they pass on an empty apartment. here you are trying to promote the administration. there is more section eight housing. to make the jared kushner's of the world. here's a name i would like to write down.
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phil winn. he on 500,000 section eight units. we have to provide housing for all of these homeless people. why would they be helping out the jared kushner's of the world to make them richer? guest: there are multiple types of section eight. there section eight project-based houses where the owner maintains those property and keep them affordable to the low income people. then there is called housing choices. those are mobile section eight doctors. they have those apartments be affordable. whether they are project-based
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or mobile, people pay about 30% more. the federal government pays the rest up to a reasonable amount. these kind of housing subsidies are crucial to ensuring the lowest income people, low-wage workers, people with disabilities could afford to have a stable, affordable home. we underfund these programs and have for decades. 75%. hoping to win what is a housing
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model system in our country. they pay more percentages which leads them to make all kinds of trade-offs to pay the rent or whether they should pay the internet bill or the rent. or they have to double or triple up their families. they may live in homes that are not safe. they become homeless and they sleep in their cars. they sleep in encampments or homeless shelters. the federal government has to do more to ensure the lowest income people in our country could have the basic human need of a home. host: what got you into this issue and how did you get into the low housing -- the housing coalition? guest: i have been probably 20-25 years.
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i came to washington, d.c. to work at the national housing coalition the first time. i oversaw the occupancy division. i came back to the housing coalition as the ceo about five years ago. host: i have a comment on twitter that says there is a two-year minimum weight for low income housing apartments in warner robins, georgia south of atlanta. these apartments are important is that weight -- is that way in particular unusual across the country? host: the weight is not -- guest: the weight is not unusual. those weight lists could vary from several months to several
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years. we all -- we absolutely need to expand the program. it is also essential that we ensure these properties are kept up. a couple of the commenters are right. much of our affordable housing stock is in poor condition due to decades of declining resources to repair these units and keep them and sanitary condition. public housing for example has been underfunded for decades. and now has a $70 billion needs backlog. it would cost that to maintain these properties in sanitary
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conditions and to keep it for the generations who will need it in the future. that is the additional investment we are urging in public housing, so it is safe and sanitary for people who live there today and generations who will need it. host: richard and minneapolis, minnesota, good morning. caller: if you want to have apartments in poor condition, just advocate rent control. you take a look around the town in the construction permits just froze, they just stopped. no new building going on since they propose this rent control. if you want to have more housing and cheaper housing, just build
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more apartments and the competition will drive down the price. they have to lower the property tax. they have to lower the price of the land. they have to lower the price of the labor. host: talk about the role of the developers. guest: it is absolute right, we do need to build more homes throughout the country and ensure they are available to the lowest income people. it will drive down the cost for everybody. the way to do that is look at
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what is driving up costs. also looking at state and local zoning laws. many local zoning rules restrict or outright prevent instruction of apartments in certain communities. this drives up costs for everybody. it exacerbates segregation of other inequities. they need to do much more to address that restrictive zoning. that will lower costs for everyone. it is important that for the lowest income people, workers, seniors, the private market cannot build, operate, and
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maintain a purpose that is affordable at a level that they could pay rent. some subsidies are necessary. i will say to you the caller raise the issue of increases and we have to recognize in our country there is a wild power imbalance between landlords and renters. we have seen that come to the board during the pandemic. there is more that needs to be done to protect renters allowing them to have legal representation. or expunging eviction records.
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this goes a long way towards saving the cost of eviction for those individuals and families because we do pay for this to be purchased in our country. host: he asked is there any movement having to push legislation that prevent new low income and innovative tiny home projects from being developed. guest: that could be really problematic in local areas. this is a local issue at the end of the day. we encourage people to get involved at the local level.
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why more innovative apartments are needed. it does have power to incentivize or require communities to do more. we look at tying some of the federal funds to either incentives or requirements. for the local communities to alleviate or produce does restrictive zoning laws. host: we will go to brooklyn next and hear from omar. caller: good morning. i live in new york city. in new york city, there are thousands of condos popping up in manhattan, queens, brooklyn, everywhere. it just so happens that i am homeless.
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i have a viable education. without a viable job i can't get those apartments. if i'm stuck in this conundrum of trying to find housing, i have a brand-new cybersecurity degree that i have thousands of applications out and no one is calling. this is the trap of america that has definitely left me between a rock and a hard place. hundreds of people work and they are in a shelter. i have income, i have funds available to spend. there are other men that are
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working. they can't get housing. host: just of your report, diane, new york is the fourth highest national housing wage. in new york it requires an hourly wage of $34 to afford a two bedroom rental home. 109 hours per week are needed at the minimum wage to afford a two bedroom rental home. your thoughts? guest: the cost in new york and so many communities is so far out of reach, low-wage workers, much more needs to be done at the federal and local level. he raises so many important
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points. i wanted to amplify that some of those people who are homeless are working and do everything they can to get a job. they are wanting to work. many of them are working. going to work every day. they are going to a homeless shelter to sleep at night. one of the richest countries in the history of the world. we have as a country we have clearly the data. we have for a long time in our country, we lack the political will to fund the solutions.
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i am hopeful we may have a moment in time now where we built the political will and the opportunity. there is clearly the need that the federal government does what is needed and expands this and make homes affordable. host: housing affordability issues across all parts of the country from predominantly rural areas to more urban states. there only three states where they could afford a new home. delaware, 69%. virginia, 54%. jack is up next. caller: good morning. i have two questions. is any effort being made towards creating smaller spaces so
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senior citizens could have independent living so i could sell my single-family home for someone else to take over? host: give us your second question and we will have diane respond. caller: is one million people coming across the border into the united states part of the housing problem? guest: thank you for the questions. it comes in all shapes and sizes. they have the view on what affordable housing looks like. many decades ago. a lot has been learned in this time.
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as affordable homes are rehabilitated and new apartments are built. they are built in a variety of ways. they are very often smaller, affordable housing apartment in smaller buildings. there are single-family home and there are large, high-rise buildings that are built in a way that is aesthetically fitting in with the community. all types of housing should be pursued. there are certainly opportunities. secondly, the lack of homes throughout the country, i wanted to share another report -- in that we find there is a shortage of 7 million apartments,
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affordable and available. 10 of the lowest income families , there are fewer than four apartments affordable and available to them. whether it is rural, suburban, or urban into differs from the severe shortage of affordable homes. there is no state or city -- host: question for you from carol in arkansas who writes this. if you get a housing voucher to go and rent an apartment, how much do you have to pay for the voucher? 40% or 30%? guest: it differs slightly from
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housing authority to housing authority. it is generally 30% of your income. some cases utility costs are factored as well. some cases where the local costs of apartments are very high the housing authority may pay up to a higher level for the cost of the unit. the tennants can pay up to 40% of their income. host: we will get one more question. jerry is in mississippi on our renters line. go ahead. caller: my comment is i believe if -- they need to be ready to vote, that is one of the main things that we can move this thing forward.
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make sure they are registered and they are voters. they could take matters into their own hands. that could help them. i think that is one of the main things that we need to do. we need to get the people registered and get them to voting. guest: i couldn't agree more. we have exactly that, empowering, enabling low income people to register and get out to vote right now. there's a disparity where higher income homeowners vote at a higher rate than lower income renters do.
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federal policy favors homeowners over the lower income renters. it could register and get out the vote. guest: the -- host: the new report is out of reach 2021. the president and ceo of the national low income housing [no audio]
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