Witnesses discussed the connection between the lack of affordable housing and homelessness.
The President of the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Board Member, Nan Roman, claimed she believed homelessness cannot end until the affordable housing crisis is addressed in the United States. Further, she urged legislation to consider an innovation fund to allow local communities to try out different affordable housing solutions.
“Inequitable criminal justice enforcement in black communities is one of the reasons African Americans are disproportionately represented among the homeless population.” Anne Bischoff of Star House added that when youth are forced to engage in survival crimes it makes it more difficult for them to secure housing in the future.
Overall, all witnesses advocated for increased federal funding for programs which address homelessness as well increased number of affordable housing options.
On July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey Residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.