Taiisa Kelly and Brian Kulas Call on Elected Officials to Support and Expand Affordable Housing
On July 24, 2019, Monarch Housing Associates was joined by 36 Partners in Washington, DC for the 2019 Congressional Reception.
This blog post highlights the remarks of just two of the many speakers at this year’s Congressional Reception, Taiisa Kelly and Brian Kulas.
Taiisa Kelly, CEO of Monarch Housing Associates, opened this year’s event. In her remarks, Kelly thanked the 300+ attendees for being in Washington to advocate for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. Kelly’s remarks were followed by those of 14 individuals impacted by homelessness who live in New Jersey. Elected officials in attendance along with representatives of the Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign also spoke at the event. Stay tuned for blog post linking to video footage of their remarks.
“Housing and a place to call home is a right for everyone,” Kelly says. She kicked off the event by stressing the importance of availability of, access to, and support for affordable housing. These things, Kelly argues, can be accomplished if elected officials support the 2019 Federal Policy Priorities, which include McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, Fair Housing, Medicaid, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF).
You can watch Kelly’s opening remarks here.
Brian Kulas, a member of the Monarch Housing Associates Board of Trustees and an affordable housing advocate, also addressed Congressional Reception attendees.
Kulas discussed how his mental and physical health declined significantly when he was homeless, recalling that the emergency room was a safe haven for him. Since receiving a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, his healthcare expenses have decreased by 70 percent. When all people have access to safe and affordable housing, American communities are healthier.
Kulas called on policymakers and elected officials to invest more in housing, saying “we won’t be investing so much in people’s struggle and trauma but investing in their future.” He also called on elected officials to support the Federal Policy Priorities. He ended his speech by asking attendees to continue supporting and advocating for vital housing and homelessness assistance programs.
You can watch Kulas’ remarks here.
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