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Campaign Welcomes New State Grantees

The campaign is pleased to announce that it has awarded $50,000 grants to eight state-based organizations that share the national campaign’s goals.  Each grantee will use the funding to diversify their state’s housing coalition to other sectors, such as health, education, civil rights, food security, climate, faith, anti-poverty, and more.  Their multi-sector partnerships will be leveraged to engage federal elected officials who represent the state to enact policies which correct longstanding racial inequities and expand affordable housing for the nation’s lowest income people.

The grantees were selected through a highly competitive proposal process and will be formally recognized as state affiliates of the national campaign, as well as gain access to resources, multi-sector networks, and technical assistance from the national campaign.  Each applicant demonstrated a strong commitment to advancing federal affordable housing solutions for the lowest income people, amplifying racial equity, and expanding partnerships to different sectors.  The grantees are:

“Not only is it critical for Congress to hear from national advocates, but also from their own constituents in the states they represent,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.  “This excellent cohort of grantees will be critical partners in helping the campaign achieve its goals.  To be sure, the housing crisis cannot be solved without stronger federal action.  And we are more likely to build the necessary political will in Congress when an array of sectors are standing shoulder-to-shoulder demanding solutions, rather than just housing advocates alone.”

In addition to this new cohort of grantees, the campaign also has previously established partnerships with Housing California, Maine Together, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, Housing Network of Rhode Island, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, Oregon Housing Alliance, and Utah Housing Coalition.

Campaign Sends Letter to Congressional Leadership

On January 26, the campaign sent a letter to Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority Leader McCarthy urging them to 1) provide $30 billion in emergency rental and utility assistance; 2) provide $28 billion in new funding for Housing Choice Vouchers; 3) provide $6 billion in new funding for Emergency Solutions Grants; 4) provide $44 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund; and 5) further extend, strengthen, and enforce the national eviction moratorium.

Congress must take these next steps to ensure housing stability for low-income renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the Letter

Campaign Sends Letter to President Biden Urging Improvement and Enforcement of Eviction Moratorium

On January 15, the campaign sent a letter to then President-elect Joe Biden urging him to take immediate action to prevent a catastrophic wave of evictions: 1) extending, 2) improving, and 3) enforcing the federal eviction moratorium. On his first day in office, the President acted swiftly to extend the moratorium through March 31, which is a necessary first step. On its own, however, the extension is insufficient to protect renters during the pandemic. President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) must not only extend the moratorium but also improve and enforce it.

The letter was signed by 63 leading organizations from an array of sectors, including health, education, food security, civil rights, faith, homelessness, seniors, child well-being, environmental protection, municipal governance, gender equity, animal protection, and more. These signatories demonstrate a growing willingness across sectors to engage in housing policy advocacy.

Read the Letter

New Report Makes the Case That Housing Matters for Upward Economic Mobility

A recent report released by the Urban Institute finds that housing is a necessary tool for families and individuals to achieve upward mobility. The authors urge communities, practitioners, and policymakers to broaden housing policy considerations to include a person’s power, autonomy, and value in their community which are essential to upward mobility. To better incorporate these three essential components to upward mobility, the report identifies five housing goals – housing quality, housing affordability, housing stability, housing that builds assets and wealth, and neighborhood – that must be used together to advance the goal.

“Together, this ‘bundle’ of housing goals interacts in a variety of ways to significantly affect a household’s chance of upward mobility, though whether an outcome helps or hurts those chances may not be clear by examining one outcome in isolation,” writes the report’s authors. “Families sometimes have to make trade-offs between goals, for example, finding stable housing at the expense of living in a low-resourced neighborhood. Programs that support one housing goal may have mixed or negative effects on another. Understanding the magnitude and direction of these interactions could significantly help households, practitioners, and policymakers focus on the tradeoffs that are likely to yield the greatest long-term mobility benefits.”

Read the Report

Housing Challenges Common Among Students, According to Educators in Recent Survey

A recent study by Enterprise Community Partners and the NHP Foundation found that 76% of educators reported housing-related challenges are somewhat or very common among their students. Survey participants consisted of 500 educators nationwide, including teachers, aides, and specialists working directly with students. The study found that low-income families were acutely impacted by housing challenges. For example, 87% of staff in Title 1 (higher poverty) schools said housing challenges are common, compared to 65% of staff in non-Title 1 (lower poverty) schools. Findings also showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the impact of housing-related challenges among students. 

Read the Report

Did You Know?
The Majority of the Public Wants to See Long-Term Government Investments in Housing

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