Representatives Jayapal and Meng Reintroduce “Housing is a Human Right Act”

Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Grace Meng (D-NY) on June 8 reintroduced the “Housing is a Human Right Act.” Representative Jayapal joined NLIHC’s national call on June 7 to announce the reintroduction of the bill and discuss the vital importance of affordable, accessible housing. If enacted, the bill would invest more than $200 billion in affordable, accessible housing and support services. Additionally, the bill would provide $27 billion a year for homelessness services, $100 million a year for community-driven alternatives to criminalization of people experiencing homelessness, and make targeted investments in communities at disproportionate risk of homelessness. 

“Experiencing homelessness is not a moral failure of individuals, but a structural failing on the part of a country that has long refused to make safe and affordable housing a priority. This crisis of housing instability is human-created but that means that we can fix it — and we must,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “By investing billions of dollars in housing infrastructure, we will provide affordable housing and supportive services for vulnerable communities while ensuring that everyone has a bed to sleep in, a roof over their head, and their dignity recognized. By doing so, we will not only finally guarantee housing as a human right in this country, but we will create an America where everyone has a place to call home.”

“Housing is a human right, and everybody in our country deserves a safe and affordable place to live,” said Congresswoman Meng. “Unfortunately, too many Americans are forced to choose between having a roof over their head and affording basic necessities. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated an already dire housing crisis in New York and across the nation, forcing more people into poverty. Housing instability and homelessness is debilitating and demeaning. This is completely unacceptable and must change. That is why I am proud to join Congresswoman Jayapal in introducing the Housing is a Human Right Act, which makes long overdue, monumental investments in housing infrastructure and homelessness services. This gives communities like mine the resources we need to guarantee access to affordable housing, as well as the tools needed to tackle homelessness — while upholding the dignity of each person. It’s time to make our communities livable for ALL people.”

NLIHC’s President and CEO Diane Yentel was quoted in the press release, stating that “homelessness is one of our country’s most urgent, tragic and solvable crises. The solution to homelessness is affordable and accessible homes, and while we have the resources to provide such homes to all those in need, we lack the political will to invest in solutions at the scale necessary. I applaud Representatives Jayapal and Meng for their bold leadership in introducing legislation that, as part of the People’s Housing Platform, would ensure that people with the lowest incomes and the most marginalized people in America have a stable, affordable home.”

Learn more about the bill at:

View the full press release at: