The Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) multi-sector affordable homes campaign submitted a Statement for the Record to the House Financial Services Committee in advance of its January 14 hearing, “On the Brink of Homelessness: How the Affordable Housing Crisis and the Gentrification of America Is Leaving Families Vulnerable.” The campaign’s statement, “Bold, Bipartisan Solutions to the Eviction Crisis,” contains six sections:
- Section I explains the causes and pervasiveness of the nation’s eviction epidemic.
- Section II explores how a lack of stable, affordable housing drives negative outcomes in other areas like education, health, food security, upward mobility, homelessness prevention, economic growth, criminal justice, racial equity, and domestic violence.
- Section III discusses recent public opinion polling showing that elected officials have a clear mandate from the public to take bold action.
- Section IV highlights the promise of the “Eviction Crisis Act,” introduced in December, 2019, by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rob Portman (R-OH), along with Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Todd Young (R-IN). Among various other promising provisions, the legislation includes the creation of an emergency rental assistance program to test, evaluate, and expand proven interventions to help low-income households facing housing instability due to an unexpected economic shock. This policy solution was developed and championed by the OSAH campaign, which worked closely with the bill’s sponsors.
- Section V explains why emergency rental assistance is needed to avert the downward spiral of housing instability, eviction, and homelessness.
- Section VI presents research demonstrating that many tenants face eviction over relatively small sums of money – in many cases, one month of rent or less – and that emergency rental assistance programs demonstrate effectiveness across the country and save taxpayer money.
Read the statement here.
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