NAACP President Explains Why Opportunity Starts at Home is a Priority
In the interview, Mr. Johnson explains the importance of housing to the civil rights community, why racial inequities cannot be tackled without addressing housing, and why affordable housing is a priority for the NAACP. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, the NAACP joined the Steering Committee of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.
- Mr. Johnson explains that housing does not exist “in a vacuum.”
- He discusses the impact of housing segregation and discrimination and affirms the need for federal policies that “enforce fair housing in a way in which all citizens are experiencing equal protection under the law.”
- “One’s ZIP code should not determine their life’s future,” he said.
Discussing the importance of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, Mr. Johnson explains that “political will is built primarily through coalitions. No one organization can hold the magic wand to a solution. All of us bring value and voice to the table.”
The NAACP, founded in 1909, is the nation’s largest and most widely recognized civil rights organization. Mr. Johnson has been president and CEO since 2017, formerly serving as vice chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors and as the state president of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition launched the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign together with:
- the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
- Children’s HealthWatch,
- Make Room, and
- the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
Members of the steering committee include:
- Catholic Charities USA,
- the Children’s Defense Fund,
- Community Catalyst,
- the Food Research and Action Center,
- National Alliance on Mental Illness,
- the National Association of Community Health Centers,
- the National Education Association, and
The goals of the Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign are to advance federal housing solution that:
- Bridge the growing gap between renter incomes and rising housing costs
- Provide aid to people experiencing job losses or other economic shocks to avert housing instability or homelessness
- Expand the affordable housing stock for the lowest income renters
- Defend existing rental assistance and other targeted housing resources from harmful cuts