A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF FOUR LEADING HOUSING authorities recently published a housing policy treatise that calls for the political parties to put partisan politics aside to solve the nation's affordable housing crisis.

The book, Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy, was published by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies and co-authored by Henry Cisneros, Jack Kemp, Kent Colton, and Nicolas Retsinas. Cisneros served as HUD Secretary during the first Clinton administration; Kemp was HUD Secretary under President George H. Bush; Colton is senior scholar at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies and was the NAHB's CEO from 1984 to 1999; and Retsinas is current director of the Joint Center.

The authors offer 12 recommendations:

  • End chronic homelessness.
  • Redirect public housing funding streams.
  • Protect and expand the Housing Choice Voucher program.
  • Establish a national housing trust fund.
  • Eliminate regulatory barriers to the production of workforce housing.
  • Enact a federal homeownership tax credit.
  • Create incentives for employers to provide housing assistance.
  • Preserve the affordability of privately owned multifamily rental housing.
  • Redefine the affordable housing mission for government-sponsored enterprises.
  • Prohibit predatory lending.
  • Institute university-based programs to train the nation's housing professionals.
  • Enforce the nation's fair housing and fair lending laws.
  • To learn more about the book, visit www.jchs.harvard.edu. The book costs $20 for a single copy.