Housing vouchers


Amrit Dhillon of the National Low Income Housing Coalition has called to say that my posting on that organization's support for the housing vouchers proposed by the Bush administration was misleading. Dhillon says that NLIHC has backed housing vouchers since the 1970s. I actually specifically referred to NLIHC's consistent support of housing vouchers and then noted that two or three generations ago liberals supported large public housing projects. I guess the folks at NLIHC thought I was implying that their organization supported public housing projects rather than housing vouchers "two or three generations ago." I referred specifically to liberals rather than the NLIHC, which was founded in 1974 (as stated on the linked press release), which seems to me at least less than two generations ago—maybe much longer ago than I would like! But if readers were misled, I'm sorry, and I'm happy to forward Dhillon's assurance that the organization has backed housing vouchers since the 1970s. My larger point was that we see the convergence here of liberals and conservatives in support of the same policy: a notable development in these polarized times. Here's my posting; I'll let you decide if the criticism is warranted.

Let me also take this opportunity to make another point. The NLIHC has opposed many Bush administration policies, but they also took the trouble to applaud a Bush administration policy they supported. This is a good example of putting intellectual integrity ahead of politics. Another such example was the National Resources Defense Council's endorsement of the Bush administration's new regulations on diesel fuel, which seem likely to reduce particulate emissions more than any new policy in years. Many environmental organizations criticized or minimized the Bush policy. Many liberal (and conservative) organizations take stands consistently critical of (or praising) Bush administration policies in order to keep their left-wing (or right-wing) direct-mail list constituencies happy and ready to send more money in. The NRDC on this issue, like the NLIHC on hurricane housing vouchers, took an intellectually honest position. I know I'll pay more respectful attention to the NLIHC's and NRDC's pronouncements in the future than I do to the pronouncements of many other organizations because these two groups have shown that they are more interested in advancing their stated policy goals than in scoring cheap political shots.