Members of Congress – representing districts and states across the country – participated in the “Our Homes, Our Voices” National Housing Week of Action activities, calling for increased investments in affordable housing.
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA), David Price (D-NC), Tim Ryan (D-OH), and Mark Takano (D-CA) spoke powerfully on the need to expand access to affordable housing at an “Our Homes, Our Voices” Capitol Hill rally organized by the Campaign for Housing and Community Development on July 26. Mr. Price told those gathered that the low budget caps that have limited federal investments in affordable housing are arbitrary and artificial constraints that must be dismantled. Ms. Beatty called for advocates to register themselves and others to vote. “You have to have a call to action to get people registered to vote. Just like our voices need to be heard, our vote needs to be heard,” Ms. Beatty said. The day before the rally, Ms. Beatty cited the National Housing Week of Action when she spoke on the House floor to demand that Congress address the lack of affordable housing nationwide.
A number of members of Congress reaffirmed their commitment to addressing housing poverty and homelessness through legislative resolutions introduces as part of the “Our Homes, Our Voices” week of action. Representative Lee introduced a resolution with Representatives Beatty, Al Green (D-TX), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), and Maxine Waters (D-CA) to declare that housing is a human right, and Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) reintroduced a resolution calling on Congress to end homelessness. A bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 475) was introduced by Congressmen Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and Denny Heck (D-WA) to designate September, 2017 a “National Month for Renters.”
Over 40 members of Congress joined advocates and struggling renters in a twitterstorm following the rally, helping to make #OurHomesOurVoices trend nationally for hours. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representatives Julia Brownley (D-CA), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX), Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Adam Smith (D-WA) were among many sending out more than 1,000 tweets in support of the campaign.
Read Ms. Lee's press release about the resolution at: http://bit.ly/2hajzra