HOUSING PROBLEMS….Matt Yglesias makes his bylined debut at The American Prospect today with an article about the high cost of housing ? an issue that I suspect is newly important to him. In fact ? another coincidence ? it’s renters in urban areas like, say, Washington D.C., who are the hardest hit!

(Just kidding, Matt. After all, you’re supposed to write what you know.)

Anyway, a new report on low-income housing has just come out and it turns out to be timely indeed:

The report comes out just four days after members of the Senate Appropriations Committee joined their House colleagues in endorsing the Bush administration’s request to cut funding for the housing vouchers program ? the federal government’s main means of addressing the issue ? by providing $900 million less than the Congressional Budget Office estimates will be necessary to continue the program at its current level.

As a result, more than 100,000 vouchers authorized by current law will go unfunded in the coming year.

What’s more, Matt says this is not just a simple matter of Republicans being hostile to helping poor people. There’s more to it:

The housing crisis is largely an issue for the more tightly packed blue states, making it unlikely that the Bush administration will experience a change of heart and come to the rescue with a generous supplemental budget request….Eight of the 10 most expensive [states] went for Al Gore in 2000. Nonvoting and very poor Puerto Rico took the cheapest slot, followed by 19 Bush states in a row.

So they can take a shot at poor people and at Democrats! A twofer!

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