THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
KEEPING THE DOOR OPEN TO AFFORDABLE HOMES

In tough times, families need federal housing help

May 25, 2011

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COLUMNIST EDWARD L. Glaeser argues that a Washington Post story highlighting problems at a handful of projects funded by the HOME program is evidence that federal affordable housing construction programs don’t work (“Federal home-building programs guarantee waste,’’ Op-ed, May 19).

But new construction is only one part of the HOME program’s mission. HOME can also be used for rehab and housing vouchers, activities which Glaeser praises, as well as down payment assistance.

It’s one thing to argue that some places don’t need new affordable housing. But it’s quite another to suggest that low-income families in the areas harmed most by the economic crisis don’t need assistance with housing costs or the maintenance of their homes.

Mercedes Marquez
Assistant Secretary for Community,
Preservation and Development
US Department of Housing
and Urban Development
Washington