After months of delays, the White House, congressional leaders, and key senators have restarted negotiations over a scaled-down reconciliation package that could include robust housing investments targeted to people with the lowest incomes.
We cannot let this once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance the bold, long-term solutions needed to address the nation’s affordable housing crisis pass us by!
Urge Congress to include in any reconciliation package robust affordable housing investments targeted to those with the greatest needs, including funding for the campaign’s top priorities:
- $25 billion in rental assistance,
- $65 billion to preserve public housing, and
- $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund
Click here to see a full overview of the funding and why it matters.
Please send a letter to your members of Congress TODAY and urge them to support targeted investments in rental assistance, public housing, and the national Housing Trust Fund in any reconciliation package.
SEND THE CAMPAIGN’S LETTER TO CONGRESS
As your constituent, I urge you to prioritize robust investments in any future reconciliation legislation for housing vouchers, public housing, and the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) because these vital housing programs most directly and effectively serve the lowest income and most marginalized households with the greatest needs. These key investments must be included in any future reconciliation package and should not be broken off into a separate bill that faces a steeper path to enactment.
As you are aware, the United States was in the grips of a pervasive affordable housing crisis long before the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting rural, suburban, and urban communities alike. There is a national shortage of more than 7 million homes affordable and available to people with the lowest incomes. Rental housing affordability has worsened dramatically over the past 15 years, and more households than ever are struggling to pay the rent and make ends meet. High rental costs and low wages have forced three-fourths of our nation’s lowest-income renters (disproportionately renters of color) to spend more than half of their incomes on rent and utilities every month. As a result, these households have few resources to cover other necessities, like medical care or nutritious food, and are at greater risk of housing instability and, in worst cases, homelessness – all problems linked to serious adverse effects on children’s health and development.
Research clearly shows that investments to make housing more affordable generate multiplying returns across many sectors. Stable, affordable housing options located in neighborhoods of opportunity are associated with better educational outcomes, better physical and mental health outcomes, lower healthcare expenditures, greater food security, stronger upward economic mobility and growth, greater racial and gender equity, fewer encounters with the criminal legal system, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and more. Unfortunately, years of underinvestment in affordable housing solutions have contributed to our current housing crisis. For example, although it is well documented that housing vouchers and other rental assistance are highly effective at addressing homelessness and housing instability, reducing domestic violence, and improving other outcomes, 3 in 4 people eligible for rental assistance do not receive it due to inadequate funding.
To help end the affordable rental housing and homelessness crisis, we recommend the level of investments that were originally included in the Build Back Better Act: expanding rental assistance by $25 billion to serve over 300,000 households; investing $65 billion to repair the nation’s public housing infrastructure for more than two million residents; and investing $15 billion in the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to build and preserve 150,000 affordable homes and help end homelessness.
Thank you for your consideration.
For more information about the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign and its advocates, please see: www.opportunityhome.org
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