NLIHC and the Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH) campaign hosted a Congressional briefing on September 29 for Hill staff to learn about the causes of and solutions to America’s affordable housing crisis. Staffers were briefed on findings from NLIHC’s annual reports The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes and Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing by NLIHC Vice President for Research Andrew Aurand. Among other findings, the reports show that there is a national shortage of 7 million rental homes affordable and available to renters with the lowest incomes and that no state has an adequate supply of deeply affordable, available, and accessible homes for the lowest-income renters. Megan Hustings, deputy director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, joined the briefing to discuss the effect of the affordable housing shortage on renters with the lowest incomes and people experiencing homelessness. View slides from the briefing at: https://tinyurl.com/vn49wtmw
Also present at the briefing were staff from several cross-sector partners in the OSAH campaign, who shared the impact of the affordable housing crisis on other national priorities, including health, education, and environmental justice. Allison Bovell-Ammon, director of policy and communications at Children’s HealthWatch, discussed the inextricable link between housing stability and health, especially for young children. Harry Lawson, director of human and civil rights at the National Education Association, provided insights on the impact of stable housing on children’s educational outcomes and the school community. Sabrina Johnson, senior housing advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council, discussed how the shortage of deeply affordable housing impacts low-income renters’ access to clean water and energy-efficient homes, as well as the disproportionate impact of climate disasters on low-income communities and communities of color.
NLIHC Senior Policy Analyst Kim Johnson closed out the briefing by addressing the long-term solutions needed to meaningfully address the country’s affordable housing crisis, including bridging the gap between incomes and housing costs; expanding and preserving the supply of rental homes affordable and accessible to people with the lowest incomes; providing emergency rental assistance to households in crisis; and strengthening and enforcing renter protections.
Slides from the briefing are accessible at: https://tinyurl.com/vn49wtmw