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NEW VOICES FOR AFFORDABLE HOMES

Take Action! Send a Letter to Congress to Support a Bipartisan Task Force  
On July 18, 2018, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Angus King (I-ME), along with Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced S.3231, Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act
This bill would create a bipartisan affordable housing task force to better understand and respond to America’s affordable housing crisis. 
S.3231 is an important and momentous step for Congress to deeply study the country’s housing affordability challenges in a bipartisan way and to jointly articulate robust solutions. 
Send the letter to your senators urging them to support the creation of this bipartisan affordable housing task force. 
Send the Letter
 

The National League of Cities Joins the Opportunity Starts at Home Steering Committee 
 
On August 16, the National League of Cities (NLC) announced that it will be joining the Opportunity Starts at Home Steering Committee. Through the campaign’s Steering Committee, NLC will work to get its member cities more directly engaged on federal housing policy. 
“City leaders cannot close the housing affordability gap on our own,” said Councilmember Gyna Bivens of Ft. Worth, Texas, and chair of NLC’s Community and Economic Development federal advocacy committee. “We need Congress to prioritize affordable housing and work with local partners to coordinate federal housing resources.” 
NLC was founded in 1924 by a small number of state municipal leagues that recognized the need for a national organization to strengthen local government. Now more than 1,600 cities, towns, and villages of all sizes are NLC members and another 18,000 communities participate through their state municipal leagues. 
Read the NLC Announcement
 

Steering Committee Urges Congress to Support Voucher Mobility Demonstration
On September 20, the campaign’s national Steering Committee urged Congress to include in its final Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) FY 2019 appropriations bill the House provision that invests $50 million for the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration.  This letter represents the Steering Committee’s first formal endorsement of a specific piece of legislation. 
The demonstration would provide low-income households with expanded access to affordable homes located in high-opportunity neighborhoods with strong schools, better job prospects, and other resources.  
“It’s powerful to see the Opportunity Starts at Home Steering Committee, which consists of mostly non-housing organizations, jointly urge Congress to support the mobility demonstration,” said Mike Koprowski, National Campaign Director.  “They each come with their own perspectives and concerns, yet all understand the importance of more robust and equitable federal housing policies.”
Read the Steering Committee’s letter here.  
Additionally, the campaign’s state grantee in Idaho, the Idaho Asset Building Network (IABN), along with four of its multi-sector partners, submitted a similar letter, which you can read here.
 

The Campaign Holds Its Inaugural Roundtable Meeting 
On Tuesday, September 18, the campaign hosted its first Roundtable meeting. Representatives from 70 multi-sector organizations, including housing, education, healthcare, civil rights, anti-poverty, seniors, faith-based, anti-hunger, veterans, LGBTQ, and more have joined this new initiative designed to foster cross-sector engagement. 
 
 
“Powerful new partnerships are forming as we broaden the movement for affordable homes,” said Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “The Roundtable will enable the campaign to expand its network and reach a diverse array of new stakeholders. 
Read More About the Event
 

The Campaign’s Inaugural Webinar, Available Now!
Broadening the Housing Movement

 

On August 16, the campaign hosted its first informational webinar about its progress, short- and long-term plans, policy advocacy goals, and ways to get involved.  Over 1,000 individuals registered from every corner of the country, including a multi-sector array of public and private organizations at the local, state, and federal levels.  
To watch the webinar recording, click here.
 

NAACP President Explains Why Opportunity Starts at Home is a Priority
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), explains the importance of housing to the civil rights community, why racial inequities cannot be tackled without addressing housing, and why housing is a key priority for the NAACP.  
To watch the video, click here
 

“There Is No Safe Time for a Child to be Homeless, Even in The Womb” 
According to a new study, children who were in the womb when their mothers experienced homelessness are significantly more likely to have been hospitalized since birth compared to those whose mothers never experienced homelessness.  They were also more likely to be in fair or poor health. 
 
 
The study will be published in the October 2018 Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Researchers interviewed over 2,000 caregivers in 5 cities: Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Little Rock, and Minneapolis.  Some caregivers were homeless prenatally (before birth); others were homeless postnatally (after birth); and some were homeless both prenatally and postnatally. 
 ‘We believe this paper has important clinical and public policy implications,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, one of the study’s authors and Principal investigator with Children’s HealthWatch.  “Clinically, we think it’s very important to develop interventions to prevent family homelessness before it occurs.  There are ways in which clinicians could be screening for housing instability to be able to identify at-risk populations.  We also believe that this has important policy implications in terms of increasing our ability to argue towards affordable housing.” 
Read the Study

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