Affordable housing is essential to creating and sustaining healthy, economically vibrant communities. In many areas housing costs have far outgrown the rate of inflation and the gap between wages and housing costs is widening, pushing affordable housing beyond the reach of an increasing number of working families. New York's housing costs affect its ability to retain the talented employees needed to secure our world-class status in business, education, and healthcare. The shortage of affordable housing also creates a barrier for people who provide the bulk of vital community services, like teachers, police officers and nurses. Too often it is difficult for these individuals to afford to live in the communities in which they serve. I am working hard to ensure our nation addresses these issues with a combination of federal support, working with state and local officials, and with public-private partnerships.