A group of congressional leaders announced on January 29 a set of proposals to address homelessness and housing poverty called “The People’s Housing Platform.” The congressional leaders are Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). NLIHC worked with these members on their proposals and joined them and other partners at an event announcing the platform.
The People’s Housing Platform Proposal consists of seven separate bills, each addressing a different aspect of the affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s bill, “A Place to Prosper Act of 2019” (H.R. 5072) strengthens tenants’ rights and ties highway funding to equitable development. Representative Omar’s “Homes for All Act of 2019” (H.R. 5244) would improve and significantly expand public housing and affordable apartments built with the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) while preventing displacement. Other members’ plans have yet to be introduced but would provide significantly increased funding for the HTF, strengthen public housing resident councils, provide new grants to create community land trusts and land banks in disinvested communities, combat homelessness by increasing funding for services, create a monthly tax credit for renters and first-time homebuyers, and fight real estate speculation. Through these proposals, the members aim to create a framework that declares housing as a human right.
“Our nation is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis that most severely impacts America’s lowest-income seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, families with children, and other individuals who struggle to afford to keep a roof over their heads or who have no home at all,” stated Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO, in a press statement. “Robust investments in proven solutions, like those proposed by Representatives Pressley, Omar, Tlaib, Blumenauer, Ocasio-Cortez, Garcia, and Jayapal, are needed to solve the housing crisis. Our country can choose to end homelessness and housing poverty – we have the data, the solutions, and the resources. We lack only the political will to fund solutions at the scale necessary. NLIHC stands ready to work with these congressional champions and others to enact bold legislation to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all.”
A recording of the event is at: https://tinyurl.com/upr34xl
Diane’s full statement on the People’s Housing Platform is at: https://tinyurl.com/s2r4eob
Text of “A Place to Prosper Act of 2019” (H.R. 5072) is at: https://bit.ly/2UbyenS
Text of the “Homes for All Act of 2019” (H.R. 5244) is at: https://bit.ly/2GDMJZG