On April 12, 2012, Paul Boden blogged about his frustrations around housing policy in the United States on The Huffington Post. Critical HUD “homeless prevention” programs that keep extremely low income households housed – public housing, Section 8, and other rental assistance programs – assist “hundreds of thousands” of the 1.46 million households who live on less than $2/day in our country. Yet, both Congress and the White House have proposed significant rent increases to this program. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the rent increases would put almost 500,000 households at risk of homelessness.
On top of this, the President’s HUD budget request underfunds many of the same programs – public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers and project based Section 8 – even more deeply than the currently underfunded levels. Boden blogs,
“Newly rising rents and continuing deep cuts signal that the nation’s most affordable housing is in peril at a time when millions of people can least afford it.”
What can we do? Many of you have already taken action and responded to our requests for renewed advocacy and been in touch with members of our congressional delegation about the critical importance of increasing for the HUD McKinney-Vento programs. And although the budget resolution process for 2013 has begun, it is not too late to weigh in with our U.S. Senators and Representatives about the importance to increase funding for all HUD programs.
Click here for a list of Congressional housing staffers, phone numbers and email addresses.
In closing and quoting Boden again,
“Over the last several decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have dismantled affordable housing programs, deregulated housing finance, and passed legislation enabling the privatization of public housing. These policies are part of a larger political agenda that ensures benefits flow to the top 10 percent while people at the bottom, especially people of color, immigrants, and the un-housed, are left with private charity, workfare programs, and the criminal justice system.”
Again, what can we do? Can you join organizers working to connect local housing struggles to one another and link housing to education, health care, economic security and other issues?