Schakowsky, Gutierrez, Quigley send letter to Director Mel Watt about Affordable Housing in Chicago

November 14, 2014
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutiérrez and Mike Quigley sent Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt a letter asking that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not sell foreclosed properties in specific Chicago neighborhoods until a meeting is held to ensure continued access to affordable housing in those neighborhoods. The Representatives issued the following statement regarding their request:

As Chicago-area families continue to recover from the foreclosure crisis, it is crucial that we make sure our residents have every opportunity to secure quality affordable housing.  The FHFA’s Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI) can be of great benefit to our communities, but we first must make sure residents of our cities are not displaced due to the unintended consequences of NSI. 

“I am always hearing from residents in my community about the need for affordable housing. I believe we must do everything we can to ensure that low-income people aren’t forced from their homes and neighborhoods – in many cases the only neighborhoods they’ve ever known.  We must ensure that as Fannie and Freddie work to sell foreclosed properties, policies are in place to maintain the supply of affordable housing in our communities.  Director Watt has always been a champion of affordable housing, and we have asked to meet with him regarding how the NSI can help promote affordable housing.” –Rep. Jan Schakowsky

“Our communities are stronger if long term residents can stay in their homes and neighborhoods can thrive.  The need for affordable housing continues to be an important issue for Chicago residents and we have an opportunity to work together to ensure that we are meeting that need as our housing market recovers.” –Rep. Luis Gutiérrez

“Studies show that affordable, safe and stable housing is important to the overall well-being and health of families. As my constituents continue to recover from the foreclosure crisis, it is my duty to ensure that FHFA Director Mel Watt takes every step to ensure that low-income individuals and families have access to affordable housing in their current neighborhoods. I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure residents of our cities avoid unintended consequences or displacement due to NSI.” – Rep. Mike Quigley

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