On our most recent (April 25) national call for the “HoUSed: Universal, Stable, and Affordable Housing” campaign, we received updates from Capitol Hill, discussed findings from NLIHC’s new edition of The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes, and heard from affordable housing advocates in Florida, Illinois, and Champlain Valley, Vermont.
NLIHC’s Kim Johnson provided updates from Capitol Hill on the fiscal year (FY) 2023 appropriations process, the prospects for a revamped budget reconciliation package, and the “Eviction Crisis Act,” which would create a permanent emergency rental assistance (ERA) program to keep extremely low-income renters facing a sudden economic shock stably housed. With reconciliation negotiations once again underway, it is vital that advocates continue calling their members of Congress to demand they include NLIHC’s top policy priorities in any final reconciliation package:
- $25 billion to expand housing vouchers to more than 300,000 households.
- $65 billion to preserve public housing for its 2 million residents.
- $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve, and operate more than 150,000 units of affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes.
NLIHC’s Andrew Aurand presented findings from our annual report The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes. The report found a national shortage of 7 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income renters. As a result, 71% of extremely low-income renters are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on rent and utilities every month. Because of historical and ongoing discriminatory policies in housing, employment, and other areas, households of color are disproportionately impacted by the affordable housing shortage. The report concludes that significant, targeted federal investments in affordable housing programs – like housing vouchers, public housing, and the national Housing Trust Fund – are needed to address disparities in housing insecurity and cost burdens.
Jade Vasquez from NLIHC’s End Rental Arrears to Stop Evictions (ERASE) project shared an update from the ERASE cohort and new data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury). NLIHC is asking Treasury and the Biden administration to publicly release more demographic information about ERA recipients to provide programs with information necessary to make ERA more visible, accessible, and effective in preventing evictions.
Kody Glazer from the Florida Housing Coalition presented the Coalition’s work advocating for and educating state and local lawmakers on the use of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds allocated in the “American Rescue Plan Act” for affordable housing development. Bob Palmer with Housing Action Illinois shared updates from the Illinois legislature, including new legislation to prevent source-of-income discrimination, and about the fight to increase housing investments in the state’s FY23 budget. Jess Hyman of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity in Champlain, Vermont, discussed her organization’s Fair Housing Month awareness activities.
National Calls now take place every other week. Our next call will be on May 9 from 2:30 to 4:00 pm ET. Register for the call at: tinyurl.com/ru73qan
Watch a recording of the April 25 call at: tinyurl.com/3d9kwvxf
View presentation slides from the April 25 call: tinyurl.com/2p988wnp