Two Federal Bi-Partisan Bills Addressing Homelessness Introduced

Opportunity Starts at Home Advances Policy Goals

The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the leading the efforts in the Garden State for Opportunity Starts at Home (OSAH), a national campaign to increase federal resources for affordable homes.

OSAH has worked with members of the U.S. Senate to get two important bills introduced late last year. Tell our elected officials that you support two Federal housing bills just introduced with bi-partisan support (see below). You can submit your letters by clicking here and here.

Here is a summary of each bill:

  • The Eviction Crisis Act of 2019 will shed light on the root causes of the eviction crisis, reduce preventable evictions and limit the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable. The bill would create a national database to standardize data and track evictions, in order to better inform policy decisions; establish an Emergency Assistance Fund to provide short-term financial assistance and housing stability-related services to eviction-vulnerable tenants; and require consumer reporting agencies to provide consumers with tenant screening reports when they are requested as part of a rental application process, so tenants can contest and correct inaccurate or incomplete information. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Todd Young (R-IN) are co-sponsors.
  • Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act. This is the proposal for an additional 500,000 housing vouchers specifically designed for low-income families with young children to expand their access to neighborhoods of opportunity with high-performing schools, strong job prospects, and other resources. This legislation could largely eliminate homelessness among families with young children, as well as substantially reduce the number of children growing up in areas of concentrated poverty. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rob Portman (R-OH), along with Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the bill.

Learn more about the Opportunity Starts At Home campaign and get involved here. To become part of the OSAH campaign in New Jersey, please sign and return the endorsement form. Together, we can make sure that everyone has a safe, affordable place to call home.

This blog post was submitted by:  Arnold Cohen, Senior Policy Advisor
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ, 145 W. Hanover Street, Trenton, NJ 08618, 609-393-3752 X1600, acohen@hcdnnj.org.