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Advancing Racial Equity Through the Campaign
The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign recently unveiled website changes that amplify the importance of racial equity in its housing advocacy work. Updated mission, vision, and goal statements are now prominently featured on the homepage, along with a new banner highlighting the campaign’s commitment to racial justice and the need for policy action. Clicking on the banner takes visitors to a new page which explains how decades of structural racism have created dramatic racial disparities in housing and how that legacy continues to shape the present landscape. Specifically, the page discusses:  
  • How racial disparities manifest in terms of housing affordability, housing segregation, housing quality, homelessness, and wealth building, as well as which historical policies caused these disparities in the first place; 
  • How racial disparities in housing spill over into other sectors, such as education;  
  • How some modern-day policies and practices, while not explicitly racist, in effect continue to exacerbate racial inequities; 
  • How the campaign’s federal policy agenda could help advance racial equity and ensure that people most in need receive the most help. 
Additionally, the campaign has updated its fact sheet on the nation’s housing crisis, including more data on the disproportionate impact on people of color. These various changes were designed and built in consultation with the campaign’s Racial Equity Working Group, which includes leading national organizations from housing, education, health, food security, faith, civil rights, child welfare, social work, and criminal justice.   
View Racial Equity Fact Sheet
View Housing Crisis Fact Sheet
The campaign also released its 26th podcast episode, entitled “Centering Racial Equity in an Affordable Homes Campaign.” The episode discusses the work of the campaign’s Racial Equity Working Group and features Peggy Bailey, Vice President of Housing Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Ms. Bailey discusses the history of racism in housing policy, the first steps when organizations embark upon racial equity work, her major reflections and takeaways, the intersectional impact of correcting racial inequities in housing policy, and the value of applying an anti-racist framework to housing justice.
“There is a true commitment to race equity work and doing better in the housing space,” said Ms. Bailey. “Policies and practices have caused racial disparities, so intentionality and courage are needed to reverse and correct them.” 
Listen to Podcast Episode

New Report: Voucher Expansion Would Dramatically Reduce National Poverty Rate
A new report from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University finds that the Biden campaign’s proposal to transform Section 8 into an entitlement program could lead to substantial reductions in the national poverty rate. The proposed Section 8 expansion would reduce the national poverty rate by nearly a quarter, moving 9 million people out of poverty. Such a reduction would exceed the current impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). As it stands today, only 23% of voucher-eligible households receive help due to chronic under-funding of the Section 8 program. The Biden campaign’s proposal would ensure all who are eligible for a voucher can receive one. This report once again confirms the powerful anti-poverty potential of expanding the housing voucher program. 
The authors report that combining the housing voucher expansion with the LIFT Act and the American Family Act would cut the national poverty rate in half and the child poverty rate by 75%. The LIFT Act, introduced in 2018 by Senator Kamala Harris, builds upon the EITC by increasing credit values and expanding coverage to middle-income households that currently do not qualify for the credit. The American Family Act, introduced in 2019 by Senator Michael Bennet (and co-sponsored by Senator Harris), would dramatically expand the child tax credit (CTC). The authors also find that the combination of these policies would reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the incidence of poverty. 
Read the Full Report

New Data Show Millions Not Caught Up on Rent During the Pandemic
New data analyzed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that 1 in 3 adults had trouble paying for usual household expenses in the last seven days, and that this difficulty is particularly acute for Black, Asian, and Latino adults. In fact, 48% of Black adults and 45% of Latino adults report difficulty covering regular expenses, compared to 25% of White adults. The analysis also reveal that nearly 1 in 6 renters are not caught up on rent (see figure). One in five renters living with children are not caught up on rent, and more than 4 in 10 children in renter households face food and/or housing hardship. CBPP is a co-founder and Steering Committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.     
The report from CBPP also includes a state-by-state breakdown of: 

  • Food insecurity 
  • Increase in SNAP caseloads 
  • People behind on rent 
  • Difficulty paying usual expenses 
  • Three-month moving average unemployment rate and recent jobless claim data 
Read CBPP’s Analysis

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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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