Affordable Rental Housing Laser Talk

March 5th, 2019

Increase Access to Affordable Rental Housing 

(Word version)

Engage: Millions of working families struggle to afford housing in America; 71 percent of extremely low-income renters spend more than half their income on housing.

Problem: Sadly, U.S. housing policy is upside down – we subsidize homeownership through tax breaks that often benefit the wealthy, while only one in four eligible low-income households receives federal housing assistance.

Illustrate/Inform: The rising cost of housing forces many Americans to struggle to make ends meet [include your own experience and/or why you care]. A worker earning the prevailing minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in America. Congress should lift the budget caps and include a $5 billion increase in housing assistance in a budget deal, which could fund 340,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as “Section 8”) in the next two years.

We also need to address discrimination against those who receive assistance. Right now, two-thirds of families who participate in federal housing programs can be denied housing by landlords simply for getting assistance.

Call to Action: During budget negotiations, will you tell congressional leaders to lift the spending caps for FY2020 and support a $5 billion increase in Housing Choice Vouchers over the next two years? And, will you support bipartisan efforts to ban housing discrimination based on income source?

Longer term: Will you prioritize low-income working families and communities of color in your economic policies, especially related to housing and tax issues?

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