In the ten months since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, we have seen threats to the resources so many people in America depend on and to the values so many of us hold dear. Cuts to housing programs threaten every community in America while a rise in hatred across the country demonstrates that we face serious opposition. In the midst of these challenges, it is more important than ever for us to unite, to raise our voices, and to resist threats to our homes and our communities.
Proposed cuts to housing programs are more severe than they have been in decades. The Trump Administration has proposed reducing HUD and USDA-Rural Development budgets by billions of dollars, taking housing assistance from hundreds of thousands of households. While the budgets proposed in the House and the Senate, which are being debated as this edition of Tenant Talk goes to print, do not cut housing programs as severely as the Administration proposed, they are still insufficient. The House bill would impose dramatic reductions, leaving many thousands of families in need, and the Senate bill, while better, still doesn’t go far enough.
It has never been more important for us to advocate for our communities: for residents of public housing and project based rental assistance, for voucher holders, and for the millions of low income households who don’t have any help paying rent. Alongside political threats, we have also seen a rise in racial violence. Nowhere was that more clearly demonstrated than in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, where KKK members and other white supremacists marched in the name of racial hatred and where a young activist protesting racial injustice was murdered. Across the country, there has been a rise in attacks on people of color, religious minorities, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, refugees, and others.
It is clear we face growing challenges in America. Such challenges make it so important for all of us to join together and defeat shameful budget cuts, resist the rising tide of hatred, and overcome attempts to divide our country and harm our communities.
Many of you are already taking part in this resistance, organizing your neighbors to protest budget cuts and to support just policy solutions. Thank you. To support your efforts, this edition of Tenant Talk includes stories and tips from NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action in July, when hundreds of advocates across the country led events and activities calling attention to the importance of affordable housing and demanding their members of Congress support funding for HUD and USDA. You’ll learn about tenants in New York who took to Twitter with images of young resident activists holding signs in support of public housing, about residents in California who organized teach-ins and letter-writing campaigns, and about many other advocates across the country who mobilized their communities in support of affordable housing. We hope you’ll use these examples and plan events in your neighborhood.
Together, we must resist. Together, we will overcome.
Tenant Talk Editorial Board