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Coalition of Affordable Rental Housing Data Highlights Lack of Federally Insured Affordable Housing

Wednesday, March 14, 2001 - 1:45AM

The new construction of federally insured affordable housing is almost nonexistent in several large cities where there is a critical need for affordable housing, according to recent data from the Coalition of Affordable Rental Housing (CARH). In New York City, Boston and San Francisco, no new units of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured multifamily housing were developed in 2000. This was also the case in Akron, Baltimore, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Norfolk, Oakland, Providence, Rochester, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Syracuse and Tampa, reported CARH. In Dallas, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., only one FHA-insured multifamily development was produced last year. The data released by CARH demonstrates that all of these cities have huge numbers of working families facing a "critical housing need"--defined as families that pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing or that live in severely inadequate housing.

The coalition, established on March 13 at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) National Housing Summit, is calling on Congress to increase by 25 percent the amount that FHA can insure for multifamily housing, with additional allowances for high-cost areas. The mortgage limits have not been increased since 1992, although housing construction costs have jumped by 25 percent since that time, said CARH. In addition to MBA, CARH members include the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, National Apartment Association, National Association of Home Builders, National Leased Housing Association, National Multi Housing Council, National Association of Realtors and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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