Washington, DC - The solution to homelessness is affordable homes – not further criminalization, punishing poor people for their poverty, sweeping people experiencing homelessness into increasingly unsafe areas, or warehousing people in untenable and unsustainable conditions, all of which are proposals that the White House is seriously considering. These proposals are abhorrent and unconscionable.
The one thing that all people experiencing homelessness have in common is lack of access to an affordable home. If the Trump administration wants to solve for the challenges of homelessness, it should start by protecting and expanding funding for programs that end homelessness. Instead, this administration has proposed cutting or eliminating those very programs. It should consult with experts who have worked on, studied, and had success reducing or eliminating homelessness – success backed by years of research and application. But the delegation the White House has sent to Los Angeles this week to address homelessness there has little to no such expertise – it includes representatives from FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration, the Department of Justice, the Domestic Policy Council and recent political appointees at HUD, among others.
Homelessness in California is a crisis, as it is in many other areas of the country - one that demands urgent action at the federal, state and local levels. Federal attention to solving the crisis is long overdue, but President Trump and his administration are clearly not acting in good faith to end homelessness. Instead, the president and HUD Secretary Carson have taken actions – time and time again – that would worsen homelessness in our country. They’ve proposed drastically shrinking or eliminating federal programs that keep the lowest-income people affordably housed; tripling rents for the lowest-income subsidized residents and raising rents for all others; evicting 100,000 people, including 55,000 American children, from subsidized housing; and allowing homeless shelters to discriminate and refuse shelter to transgender and other LGBTQ people. Unfortunately, this latest effort looks to be more of the same: demonizing those with low incomes and failing to do what’s really needed - invest in affordable homes. We won’t stand for it.
About NLIHC: Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensure people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.