Diane Yentel: We Must Make a Bold and Sustained Commitment to Ensure Decent, Safe Affordable Homes for All
At the July 26 Congressional Reception Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), addresses the over 450 attendees about the affordable homes crisis. She thanked everyone for being in Washington, DC and to keep raising their voices.
“It is a critical time that you are here today,” Diane told the audience. She reminded the audience that the Congressional Reception was one of 60 events happening across the country that were part of the NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Voices week of action
“Your being here today is about demanding action on the affordable housing crisis,” said Diane. “Together, we are building a movement for affordable homes.”
“We are here today to urge Congress and the country that instead of reducing our nations investment in affordable housing, we must make a bold and sustained commitment to ensure that everyone has a decent, safe affordable home,” said Diane.
Diane reminded the audience of the historic threats to both the affordable housing funding and the safety net of federal programs.
Diane reminded the audience that the United States and New Jersey faces an affordable housing crisis with a shortage of over 7.4 million homes affordable that are available to the lowest income people. Over 8 million of lowest income households in the U.S. pay more than half of income every month for housing. “This is why we have homelessness in this country,” said Diane. Today, only 1 in 4 low-income households that needs rental assistance receives it.
President Trump’s budget proposal puts at risk rental assistance to 250 households in the U.S.
“These cuts are unconscionable, unacceptable and we are here to say ‘no,’” said Diane.
She inspired the audience and reminded them that, throughout the long budget process, “We will remain steady and constant and loud in our advocacy to fully fund affordable housing programs for the lowest income people.”
“We have to always remember, we can end homelessness, we can end housing poverty,” said Diane. “We have the data, we have the solutions, proven solutions to end the homelessness. In the richest country in the world, we have the resources to end homelessness.”
But what we need is the political will to end homelessness and address the housing affordability crisis. “And building that political will, starts with each of us – showing up, speaking out, demanding affordable homes, just like you are doing today,” said Diane.
“So keep showing up, keep raising your voices, keep talking to members of congress, sharing your stories,” concluded Diane.
NLIHC provided technical assistance and the support of its summer interns to the Congressional Reception.
Monarch Housing was joined by 38 partner organizations in planning and supporting NJ Hill Day.
The video was taken by Jay Everett of Monarch Housing.