The Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable homes campaign issued a press statement on April 27 urging Congress to address housing and homelessness in the next COVID-19 relief package. The press statement includes quotes from 20 CEOs and senior leaders of organizations that serve on the campaign's Steering Committee and Roundtable. The statement argues that if Congress does not act quickly to ensure housing stability during this crisis, the dire consequences will be long-lasting and will impact other areas such as healthcare, education, and food security.
“Housing insecurity and homelessness are devastating for kids and students,” states Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, the largest labor union and professional interest group in the country. “We know that these issues are felt more sharply for Black, Latino, Indigenous and poor families. Having families and students worried about where they will sleep at night – or if they will have a safe place to sleep – makes it even more challenging to focus on school related work and distance learning. Our response to the coronavirus crisis must include secure housing in addition to access to nourishing food, medical care and testing.”
The statement also makes the connection between housing and health care. The Healthcare Anchor Network is a national collaboration of 50 leading hospitals and healthcare systems building more inclusive and sustainable local economies. As Network Director David Zuckerman says, “Our members know that good health requires that all of us live in safe homes that we can afford. The pandemic and economic crises we face have made the housing and health connection even more apparent. People need a home to be able to wash their hands, be protected from the elements, and maintain their health and safety. Moreover, research has shown that safe and affordable housing helps to curb healthcare costs and that certainly includes the current urgent short-term needs for some Americans.”
To see the full press statement, click here
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