AAMA Statement on the “Road to Housing Act”
Published on May 23, 2023
(Washington D.C.) May 23, 2023 – The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) today submitted a letter to Senator Tim Scott, sponsor of the Renewing Opportunity in the American Dream to Housing Act (“ROAD to Housing Act”) on his proposed housing policies. Representing some of the largest and smallest cities across the country, AAMA’s member mayors know a lack of affordable housing is a constant issue that unites all of their members and their constituents.
While AAMA commends the ROAD to Housing Act, the organization believes that there are a number of potential enhancements that would give our mayors more tools to finance and build affordable rental and owner-occupied housing across the affordability spectrum. AAMA therefore urges Senator Scott and Congress to consider as a complement to the ROAD to Housing Act – and as a part of your broader housing and Opportunity Agenda – full support for level or increased funding in the FY 2024 budget for Department of Housing and Urban Development programs like the Public Housing Operating Fund, the Public Housing Capital Fund, and the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative that help our cities and PHAs modernize and reimagine public housing.
“If Congress gives mayors the tools to build more affordable housing, we will deliver. We are confident that we can make tremendous progress in closing the Black-White homeownership gap – and in turn, the Black-White wealth gap – if we build more housing and continue to invest in fair housing enforcement as we approach the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act,” said AAMA President and Mount Vernon, NY Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. “We welcome the opportunity to be a thought and progress partner to you and to the committees of jurisdiction as you develop an appropriate response to the nation’s housing crisis and to the growing Black-White homeownership gap.”
Combined with the ROAD Act, the proposals described above would constitute the kind of omnibus approach to our nation’s housing supply challenges that AAMA would urge Congress’ consideration and swift passage.
The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is the only organization dedicated to representing over 500 African American mayors across the United States. AAMA seeks to empower local leaders for the benefit of their citizens. The role of the AAMA includes taking positions on public policies that impact the vitality and sustainability of cities; providing mayors with leadership and management tools; and creating a forum for member mayors to share best practices related to municipal management.