Congress plays a critical role in all aspects of community economic development, providing funding for numerous important programs, enacting the laws which regulate housing and financial markets, enforcing fair housing and civil rights laws, and generating and using these levers to shape and drive community economic development efforts. Prosperity Indiana sees our state’s congressional representatives as essential partners in advancing innovative, effective policies to support Hoosiers from every economic background and sustainable development in communities of every size.
In 2017, Prosperity Indiana has identified the following three federal priorities as the most significant to supporting our members’ efforts.
1. SECURE AND MAINTAIN FUNDING TO ADDRESS BASIC HUMAN NEEDS
Prosperity Indiana tracks community development programs across nine federal agencies that support essential housing, food, health care, and child care needs, as well as wealth building strategies such as stable housing and financial literacy. We urge legislators to continue funding programs that ensure Hoosiers have access to basic necessities and economic opportunity.
2. ENSURE TAX REFORM APPROACHES SUPPORT ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
Prosperity Indiana believes any tax reform proposals must provide sufficient incentives to help low-income people and communities with few financial resources achieve economic stability, like those available through the low income housing tax credit program (LIHTC), the earned income tax credit, and the child tax credit. Since 1986, the LIHTC program alone has developed or preserved 53,975 homes to assist 125,762 low-income households in Indiana, while generating $2.29 billion in tax revenue.
3. EXPAND SUSTAINABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP FOR MIDDLE- AND LOW- INCOME FAMILIES
Prosperity Indiana supports reforms to expand responsible homeownership opportunities for middle- and low-income families, such as converting the mortgage interest deduction to a tax credit and lowering the maximum amount of interest to help more households with affordability barriers. This is essential to helping more working class Hoosiers close the wealth gap.
Additionally, in order to ensure federal investments in homeownership are sustainable, Prosperity Indiana also supports instituting a homebuyer education requirement for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture to reduce default rates and increase community stability.