Housing Stability Can't Wait. Tell Congress
NLIHC is advocating for a broad array of housing resources and protections - including $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and $11.5 billion to protect people experiencing homelessness, as well as support for public housing authorities and housing providers, among other recommendations - in the possibly final coronavirus relief package. Use any of the following resources to build awareness around the importance of including housing provisions in the next bill.
- DOWNLOAD the “____ can’t wait” poster & print it.
- WRITE in what can’t wait for housing stability.
- SHARE a picture of you holding your sign on social media. Tag your member of Congress who supported or didn’t support the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act. Use #RentReliefNow
Pre-Filled Posters (right-click to save image & then share on social media)
|DOWNLOAD: "My Family's Health Can't Wait!"||DOWNLOAD: "My Safety Can't Wait!"|
|DOWNLOAD: "My Family Can't Wait!"||DOWNLOAD: "I Can't Wait!"|
|DOWNLOAD: "My Children Can't Wait!"||DOWNLOAD: "My Well-being Can't Wait!"|
|DOWNLOAD: "My American Dream Can't Wait!"||DOWNLOAD: "America Can't Wait!"|
Use the tools and resources from NLIHC’s July 21 Virtual Lobby Day when meeting with members of Congress or interacting with members on their need to take immediate action to ensure housing stability for low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness. https://nlihc.org/virtual-lobby-day-2020
Virtual Lobby Day Toolkit
Add a #RentReliefNow frame to your profile photos. Let your friends know that you want Congress to ensure housing stability during and after this pandemic.
Replace your Facebook & Twitter Header Images for a Month
DOWNLOAD: Facebook Header Image
DOWNLOAD: Twitter Header Image
- Sample Social Media Posts
Research shows that reporters and policymakers use social media as a resource for news and issues to track, and this is especially true during this pandemic. Amplify key messages and talking points on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Use #RentReliefNow, #HousingStability
- The @CDCgov eviction moratorium may protect millions of families on the verge of losing their homes – but it won’t pay the rent! Congress and the White House must #GetBackToWork and pass legislation that provides #RentReliefNow https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- #DYK people we rely on, like home health aides & food servers, don't earn enough to pay rent. They’re now among the millions unemployed who need #RentReliefNow. Congress & the WH must #GetBackToWork! Ensure families are #stablyhoused after #COVID19 https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- 3mos ago, the House passed the #HEROESAct to expand & extend the federal eviction moratorium & provide #RentReliefNow. @SenateGOP introduced a #COVID19 pckg. that was unacceptable & inadequate. Senate Rs, #GetBackToWork! #DoYourJob & provide #RentReliefNow https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- The House passed the #HeroesAct 3+mos ago authorizing an eviction moratorium, aid for renters, & funding to protect and get people experiencing homelessness quickly housed. Congress and the White House must #GetBackToWork & pass this critical relief https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- If Congress fails to pass #RentReliefNow & housing protections, a tsunami of evictions will exacerbate our public health crisis this winter. #GetBackToWork & give people the means to keep their housing during a pandemic https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- #HousingisHealthcare, & #housingassistance during #COVID19 should be considered as urgent a priority as investments in healthcare. Tell your senator that 88% of people want #housingstability during & after #COVID19 https://tinyurl.com/y8m46hep
- Tell Congress that 9 in 10 people want our elected leaders to ensure #housingstability during the #coronavirus outbreak. Congress must enact critical housing investments & protections in the next #COVID19 spending bill https://tinyurl.com/y8m46hep
- #DYK 60% of Americans think the govt. is doing too little to make sure people can stably house during #COVID19? Tell Congress they can do more. Ask them to immediately enact critical housing protections in the next #COVID19 spending bill https://tinyurl.com/y8m46hep
- 80% of Americans want the govt. to provide #housingstability during the #COVID19 outbreak. Let your senators know they must do everything they can to enact critical housing investments & protections in the final #COVID19 spending bill https://tinyurl.com/y8m46hep
- Our country can’t contain #COVID19 if millions are without homes or on the brink of homelessness. Congress, #GetBackToWork & help families keep roofs over their heads during & after this pandemic. We need #RentReliefNow https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- Many renters don’t have enough $ for rent. #RentReliefNow is needed to ensure residents who are out of work don’t accrue debt during & after #COVID19. #GetBackToWork & give us #RentReliefNow https://tinyurl.com/y9mmz9hv
- We need resources to protect low-income renters at high risk of #COVID19. Congress, #GetBackToWork to ensure the next stimulus package includes emergency #rentalassistance https://tinyurl.com/y9mmz9hv
- We need #RentReliefNow! Families should not have to choose between paying rent & buying food when #RentisDue. Congress, #GetBackToWork to ensure #housingstability for the lowest-income renters during #COVID19 https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- Millions of Americans are behind on their rent, can't afford food to feed themselves, or both. Evictions will happen again in the new year. Extended unemployment has expired leaving millions without help. It's time to pass a bill that provides #COVIDRelief https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- White House & Congress: It’s time to #GetBackToWork and pass a #COVIDRelief package with #RentReliefNow to ensure millions of families won’t fall off a financial cliff at the end of this year https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- The @CDCgov eviction moratorium order was an important step, but it was a half-measure. Congress must NOW #GetBacktoWork & help their constituents keep roofs over their heads during & after #COVID19 https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- A uniform, national moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent was long overdue. Congress & the White House must now #GetBacktoWork & pass a bill to help families not fall off a financial cliff once back-rent is owed https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- Millions of families will be at high risk of eviction once the national moratorium expires. The House passed the #HeroesAct 3mos ago authorizing aid for renters & additional stimulus to families. Congress must #GetBackToWork & pass #COVIDRelief now https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- The @CDCgov eviction moratorium order showed that homelessness is a public health emergency. Congress and White House, #GetBackToWork & give people the means to keep their homes once the moratorium ends https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- .[Twitter Handle of Your Senator who Didn’t Support the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act] #DYK millions of Americans are spending 50%+ of their income on rent? Please don’t leave them behind in the next #COVID19 bill. #RentReliefNow to ensure #housingstability during/after #COVID19 https://tinyurl.com/y9mmz9hv
- .[Twitter Handle of Your Senator who Didn’t Support the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act] #DYK people we rely on, like home health aides & food servers, don't earn enough to afford rent. They’re now among the millions unemployed who need #RentReliefNow. #GetToWork! Ensure families #stablyhouse during & after #COVID19 https://tinyurl.com/y7hdl9zb
- .[Twitter Handle of Your Representative who Supported the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act], thank you for supporting $100B in #rentalassistance in response to #COVID19. Tell all members of Congress to ensure #housingstability in the next relief bill. #RentReliefNow https://tinyurl.com/y78fv8fc
Re-Tweet #RentReliefNow Video: https://tinyurl.com/y9wuhhqt
- Sample Social Media Images
DOWNLOAD shareable images and include these images with your posts on social media.
- Sample Op-Ed
Pitch an Op-Ed to your local outlet explaining your support for housing provisions in the next bill. Word limits vary by outlet but are typically between 700 and 900. CLICK HERE for additional resources to help strengthen an Op-Ed.
Congress Must Provide Emergency Rental Assistance to Protect [STATE RESIDENTS] Experiencing a Financial Shock during Pandemic
The economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic threatens to significantly exacerbate housing instability and homelessness throughout the U.S., including in [STATE]. Congress must take bold action to help people already struggling to make ends meet by including emergency rental assistance in the next coronavirus-response package.
Even before coronavirus, far too many of America’s lowest-income households—seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage workers—were just one financial shock away from falling behind on their rent and threatened with eviction, and in worst cases, homelessness. With too many renters living paycheck-to-paycheck, a broken-down car, a sick child, or missed days at work can put someone at imminent risk of losing their home. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), nearly 11 million households – primarily renters with low incomes – pay more than half of their limited incomes on rent, leaving very little for other basic needs such as groceries, childcare, or medicines. Affordable housing was already out of reach for millions of people, and the economic disruption they are currently experiencing because of coronavirus adds to the many nearly insurmountable challenges low-income renters were already trying to navigate. They are at extreme risk of joining the more than a half-million people who on any given night in America have no home at all, unable to “shelter in place.”
Before coronavirus, there were only [# OF AFFORDABLE HOMES AVAILABLE] rental homes affordable and available for every 100 of the lowest-income renters in [STATE]. Working at the minimum wage of [STATE MINIMUM WAGE] per hour in [STATE], a wage earner needed to work [#FULL-TIME JOBS AT MINIMUM WAGE] full-time jobs or [#WORK HOURS PER WEEK AT MINIMUM WAGE] hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. They must work [#FULL-TIME JOBS AT MINIMUM WAGE] full-time jobs or work [#WORK HOURS PER WEEK AT MINIMUM WAGE] hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The reduction in wages or lost jobs millions of low-wage workers are experiencing during the pandemic will be catastrophic, unless Congress acts immediately to provide emergency rental assistance.
The CARES Act was an important first step but did not provide the resources needed to prevent low-income renters from losing their homes. In the last month, an unprecedented [#OF PEOPLE IN STATE] have applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, but many are being locked out of the process. An estimated 8.9 to 13.9 million people nationally have been unable to use their UI, and only approximately half of all people who qualify for unemployment are receiving benefits. And for those who do receive UI, the benefits – which vary from state-to-state - are often insufficient to relieve the housing cost burdens of the lowest-income households.
For far too long, Congress has underfunded critical, income-targeted programs such as the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and programs to repair public housing, worsening the nation’s affordable housing crisis. They must act now to mitigate the economic shock millions of Americans are currently facing due to coronavirus. NLIHC estimates that [AMOUNT NEEDED] in emergency rental assistance is needed in [STATE] to keep families stably housed. At least $100 billion is needed nationally. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Denny Heck (D-WA) and more than 39 other original cosponsors in the Senate and 155 original cosponsors in the House, introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act to invest that level of funding for such emergency rental assistance. This proposal has since been incorporated into the HEROES Act introduced by Speaker Pelosi. Cosponsors of this bill must continue to champion these critically important proposals in negotiations and work to ensure that Congress include them in the next legislative package.
It is not just housing advocates calling for emergency rental assistance. Leaders in health, education, hunger, faith, civil rights, environmental protection, and others are calling for the same. Groups like [2 NON-HOUSING GROUPS IN OR AROUND YOUR STATE THAT SIGNED THE OSAH LETTER] understand that stable housing is the foundation for one’s wellbeing and is desperately needed now.
At a time when our collective health depends on people’s ability to stay at home, it has never been clearer that housing is healthcare. Without emergency rental assistance, we will likely see even more people become homeless or be forced to double or triple up with other families. Overcrowding of households, sleeping in congregate shelters and living outside under the elements all lead to increased infections. Lives are at risk.
During this pandemic, the least Congress must do is ensure everyone is stably housed. This is not just an economic necessity, but a moral and health imperative. We must protect those who are most at risk during this pandemic.