A concerted lobbying effort by state and local officials, members of Congress, and housing advocates helped convince House Democratic leaders to shove billions of dollars in community assistance funding back into housing legislation when the right leverage came along.
The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac crisis ultimately provided that leverage to shift the bargaining power back into Democrats’ hands. But the decision to use it to secure $4 billion to help communities deal with foreclosed homes was preceded by months of briefings, letters and other efforts.
Lobbying continues to the bitter end. On Friday, a coalition of housing, community development and other groups that calls itself the Save America’s Neighborhoods Campaign met with White House officials to explain why communities hit hard by the wave of foreclosures in the past year need the money.
The coalition includes the city and county of San Francisco — the city at the heart of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district.
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