Ten years ago Vicki Lozano and her husband Ted lived in a lakeside home and owned a string of retail stores in the Sacramento area. Then came 2008 and the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression.
They lost their home and businesses. The stress soon took its toll on their health, too. Ted was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He underwent brain surgery. Vicki had open heart surgery. “We also lost our hope for the future,” she says.
But six months ago the couple moved into one of 205 affordable housing units in San Diego’s Atmosphere Apartments. It was “a life saver,” she said. “We no longer have to choose between paying rent or buying groceries.”
I met Vicki as she courageously shared her personal story at a housing conference earlier this month in San Diego, just a week after House Republicans unveiled their draconian tax reform plan.
At a time when California’s housing crisis has metastasized from a crisis to a catastrophe, Republicans in the House have moved to pour gas on the fire in the name of massive tax cuts for the rich. How? By savaging critical financing tools — including private activity bonds and certain low-income housing tax credits — that help raise billions of dollars in affordable capital to house veterans, seniors, the homeless and people like Vicki.
But it is not only affordable housing the GOP is willing to sacrifice in pursuit of redistributing the savings to their wealthy and corporate donors.
Beyond affordable housing, private activity bonds are often used as an economic development tool, as well as to build hospitals, health clinics, private universities, charter schools and museums.
By eliminating this financing tool, the GOP plan virtually ensures these critical projects will not get built. And, if they are built, they will come at a greater expense.
Steal from the poor and the middle class to give to the rich. The Sheriff of Nottingham would be so proud.
But the congressional proposal doesn’t stop…