Letter to Congress from civil rights and labor leaders
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The recommendations in the joint letter include: Fast-tracking the creation of jobs in the public sector that serve community-level needs. With a focus on distressed neighborhoods, unemployed and underemployed residents should be hired to provide housing counseling, maintain foreclosed properties, and carry out community redevelopment plans. Incentives for hiring, such as a work-sharing tax credit and the use of existing Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Funds, should help create subsidized jobs. Investing immediately in the infrastructure of schools and public transit. Hiring local residents to upgrade the physical infrastructure of their communities has a triple bottom line. Local unemployment rates decline as people are hired to work on necessary projects that improve children's educational outcomes and residents' access to jobs and local services. Protecting unemployed and other homeowners in distress from foreclosure. Homeowners who have lost their jobs should be automatically approved for a fixed-rate, low-interest loan until their income returns to a level sufficient to allow payment. Flexibility should be granted to homeowners in distress, including \cram down\ provisions and the option for homeowners to rent back their recently foreclosed properties.