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Campaign Sends Letter to Congressional Leadership Urging Housing Investments Via Infrastructure Package
On May 16, the campaign’s multi-sector Steering Committee sent a letter to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and Minority Leader McCarthy, urging them to include at least $5 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and at least $15 billion for public housing capital in any potential infrastructure package.
The campaign’s Steering Committee consists of leading national organizations from an array of sectors – education, health, anti-poverty, civil rights, anti-hunger, child welfare, faith, anti-homelessness, social work, municipal governance, criminal justice, and more.  It speaks volumes that these organizations, each with their own concerns and perspectives, are joining forces to advocate for greater affordable housing investments through emerging legislative opportunities like the infrastructure package.
Policymakers from both sides of the aisle agree that a significant investment in infrastructure should be a top priority. To maximize impact, a broad infrastructure package should contain resources to construct and preserve affordable housing for people with the lowest incomes. Investing in affordable housing infrastructure will not only help vulnerable people better afford a place to live, but will also address substandard conditions, reduce other public costs, create job opportunities, promote economic mobility, and stimulate economic growth. 
Read Campaign’s Letter


JustLeadershipUSA joins the Steering Committee 
On May 1, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) announced that it is joining the campaign’s Steering Committee. JLUSA is a national advocacy organization dedicated to cutting the nation’s correctional population in half by 2030. 
JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform with a network of nearly 700 formerly incarcerated people. Joining the Opportunity Starts at Home Steering Committee offers an additional way in which JLUSA can focus on the myriad connections that exist between criminal justice and housing policy.
JLUSA is the latest addition to the campaign’s Steering Committee. This marks a significant milestone in the growth of the campaign, considering that JLUSA is the first criminal justice reform organization to join the Steering Committee.
“We are extremely excited to have JustLeadershipUSA join the Steering Committee,” said Mike Koprowski, national director of Opportunity Starts at Home. “JLUSA is one of the nation’s leading criminal justice reform advocacy organizations, and its experience will bring tremendous value to the campaign.”
Read JLUSA’s Press Release
Criminal Justice & Housing Fact Sheet

Help Us Secure Multi-Sector Support for the National Housing Trust Fund
Earlier this year, the campaign launched a multi-sector sign-on letter calling on Congress to expand the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to at least $3.5 billion annually through comprehensive housing finance reform legislation. This is a key priority of the campaign, as described in its National Policy Agenda.  
Please help the campaign secure additional support from your multi-sector allies.  We are particularly interested in securing support from organizations in other sectors, such as education, health, civil rights, anti-poverty, food security, veterans, criminal justice, LGBTQ, faith-based, and more. 
Click the button below to see which organizations have already signed on.  Please add your organization’s name to the letter.  Also, encourage your multi-sector partners to sign on too.
Sign Campaign’s HTF Letter

Campaign Hosts Congressional Briefing on New Public Opinion Poll
Last month, the campaign hosted a congressional briefing for Hill staffers at the Capitol Visitor Center to discuss the results of a national public opinion poll that it recently commissioned through Hart Research Associates. The briefing explored the poll findings and the implications for federal policymakers, including specific policies and ways to effectively communicate about the need for action on housing affordability. 
“Certainly for housing advocates, the news is very good news,” said Rebecca Naser, Senior Vice President at Hart Research Associates.  “In this time that we live in, it’s rare that you find issues where there is real common ground and a real common belief that action needs to be taken, and common belief in the solutions that are the most important.  What the survey reveals is that this is the case when it comes to housing affordability.”
“We do a lot of polling on all kinds of different issues,” said Ms. Naser.  “It’s rare that we see numbers like this.  It’s also rare to see this kind of support across the political spectrum…And the public wants action at the federal level.”
Watch the Briefing Part 1
Watch the Briefing Part 2
More Information on Opinion Poll 


New Podcast Episodes Available! 

This month the campaign released two new podcast episodes that are freely available on Soundcloud and iTunes.

Episode 15 explores the relationship between housing and school funding inequities with the CEO of EdBuild, Rebecca Sibilia. In a recent report, EdBuild found that nonwhite school districts get $23 billion less than white districts, despite serving the same number of students. These education disparities are largely rooted in housing disparities. 
Episode 16 explores the relationship between housing policy and climate policy with Dr. Dan Kammen, one of the world’s leading energy experts. Dr. Kammen discusses how the lack of housing affordability significantly contributes to transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, as well as necessary policy changes, the Green New Deal, the urgency of the situation, and how housing and climate advocates can better partner together. 


Another Report Confirms Housing Vouchers Can Play Large Role in Reducing Child Poverty
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a leading non-profit child advocacy organization and Steering Committee member of the campaign, recently released a new report affirming that greater investments in affordable housing are necessary to end child poverty in America. Its second edition of Ending Child Poverty Now updates an earlier study from 2015 and again calls for an immediate reduction in child poverty. 
The report found that, by investing an additional 1.4% of the federal budget into existing programs and policies, the nation could cut child poverty by 57% and lift 5.5 million children out of poverty. CDF identified nine policy improvements that could be enacted immediately: expanding housing vouchers; creating transitional jobs; increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); raising the minimum wage; expanding child care assistance; making the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable; changing child support to benefit more children; making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable; and increasing SNAP benefits.
The report finds that expanding housing subsidies would have the single largest impact among the nine, reducing child poverty by 22% and lifting 2.1 million children out of poverty.  The report modeled an expansion of housing vouchers for families with children below 150% of the official poverty guidelines who were not already receiving housing assistance and for whom the fair market rent exceeded 50% of their income.  This proposal would cost an estimated $22.3 billion annually.
“It is a moral disgrace and profound economic threat that nearly 1 in 5 children are poor in the wealthiest nation on earth,” said Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita of CDF.  “This report calls for an end to child poverty for all children and shows how we can get started now with a 57 percent reduction immediately.”
Read The CDF Report

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Opportunity Starts at Home
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