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Affordable Housing Task Force Bill Reintroduced

Take Action Now! 

On June 11, Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Angus King (I-ME), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), along with 13 bipartisan senators, reintroduced the Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act (S. 1772).
The establishment of a congressional task force to study the country’s housing affordability challenges in a bipartisan way and to articulate robust solutions would be an important step in addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis.  In preparation for reintroduction, the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign worked to secure support for this legislation from its multi-sector partners.  To see Senator Young’s full list of supporters, click here.
In 2018, 452 letters were sent to Congress by the campaign’s advocates urging support for this legislation.  Help us again spread the word and encourage your networks to send a letter of support to your elected officials.
Send a Letter Now!
Also, in case you missed it, listen to the campaign’s podcast episode with Senator Young where he discusses the importance of this legislation.  
Listen to Podcast Episode with Sen. Young


New Report: Combining Multiple Policy Solutions Can Improve Housing Stability 
A new report from the campaign’s partner, Children’s HealthWatch, recommends that efforts to build more affordable homes in Massachutsetts be complemented with a combination of three other policies: 1) ensuring access to childcare assistance and reducing childcare subsidy co-payments; 2) increasing the state match to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); and 3) providing eviction-prevention assistance to families with rental arrearages.  These recommendations emerged from multiple sources, including a listening tour, economic simulation modeling, and a healthcare cost analysis. 
“This innovative combination of complementary policies would enhance the likelihood of working families having enough money to afford rent by closing the gap between earnings (income + EITC) and major expenses (childcare + rent), and provide a necessary buffer against eviction and its harmful costs,” the authors write.  “No single solution is enough to fill the gap between low wages and basic needs expenses in family budgets.  Though their situations are similar in many ways, each family struggling with housing instability is unique and faces a complex variety of issues that require flexible combinations of solutions.”
Read Full Report

Campaign State Partner Writes Op-Ed: “Who Speaks for Affordable Housing?”
The Idaho Press-Tribune recently published a guest column,Who Speaks for Affordable Housing,” by Gary Hanes, a working group member of the campaign’s state partner in Idaho, stressing the importance of speaking up for affordable housing. Mr. Hanes makes clear that the perception rural states like Idaho do not have a severe shortage of affordable housing is erroneous, noting the crisis has hit every corner of the state and there is an “unmet need of over 23,000 affordable units statewide.” The Idaho Asset Building Network (IABN), a state partner of the national campaign, is diversifying its state’s housing coalition to other sectors and leveraging new multi-sector voices to advocate for more robust and equitable federal housing policies.
“First, there was no shelter for homeless people.  I wasn’t homeless, so I didn’t speak up except to complain because they weren’t invisible,” writes Mr. Hanes.  “Next, seniors and people with disabilities on fixed incomes could no longer afford their housing. I was neither, so I didn’t speak up except to advise them to get a job or pick up and move.  Service workers – even those with two jobs – couldn’t afford simple apartments. I wasn’t a service worker, so I didn’t speak up except to oppose the planned affordable development in my neighborhood…But then an affordable home got to be out of reach for my young adult children, my aging parents and even me.  Now, there’s no one to speak for us.”
Read the Op-Ed

New Podcast Collaboration Elevates Resident Voices 
The campaign’s latest podcast episode elevates the personal stories of seven people across the country whose lives have been transformed by stable, affordable housing.  These deeply personal stories were captured by the Where Will We Live campaign at the National Housing Trust and Enterprise Community Partners, which focuses on amplifying the voices of those with lived experience and providing them with the knowledge to take action to ensure affordable housing resources are protected and expanded.  Both Opportunity Starts at Home and Where Will We Live have received grants from the Funders for Housing and Opportunity (FHO).
Truly understanding all the dimensions of the nation’s housing affordability crisis requires listening to people who have experienced homelessness and housing instability. Where Will We Live campaign staff have been traveling across the country collecting stories from such individuals. The campaign shared the audio recordings with Opportunity Starts at Home, which combined them into a podcast episode.
In this episode, Brandee Wright from Cincinnati, OH, describes how affordable housing has had transformative impacts on her and her family, the benefits extending to many other areas of their lives: “My kids, they feel more safer and secure…My son doesn’t act out as much.  I’ve gotten my first job after 10 years so it feels really good to be out there and actually support my family. I enjoy being in society, paying taxes, everything, I love it all.  I just feel that affordable housing has changed my life and without it I don’t know where I would be, where my family would be.  Without focusing on housing, I am able to go to college, I am able to have a job, and save money.” 
Listen to Podcast Episode

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Opportunity Starts at Home
c/o National Low Income Housing Coalition1000 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005




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