It’s Time for a Homes Guarantee

Our nation is in a full-blown housing emergency. Today, a person working full time in a minimum-wage job cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment — anywhere in the United States. More than half of all Americans spend a third or more of their income on housing. Only one in five households that qualify for federal housing assistance receives it.

And right now, thanks to President Trump’s irresponsible government shutdown, hundreds of thousands of households may face eviction and homelessness.

So we have to ask again, with even greater urgency, the question we put to HUD Secretary Ben Carson when we confronted him in Las Vegas last spring: “Where will we live?”

This is the humanitarian crisis we should be talking about: the one that’s right under our noses, and is growing larger every day. Most people — especially low-income families and communities of color — live one emergency away from an eviction. More than three million families and individuals are already experiencing homelessness, including over one million children.

We need bold solutions for housing now. That’s why People’s Action members affected by this crisis traveled to Washington from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to meet with lawmakers in December.

We were encouraged by what we heard from Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker, and others on Capitol Hill. We gave Senator Warren feedback on her American Housing and Affordability Act, which she has introduced in the Senate.

This bill is an important first step, but we need Congress to go further. This is the richest country in the history of the world. We can and should ensure every person a safe, affordable, accessible, and healthy home….

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