Dear Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate,


More than a year and a half into the pandemic approximately
5.8 million tenants are at the brink of eviction without federal or state protections. The federal government is poised to make historic investments to stabilize communities by securing people’s homes: an essential infrastructure that makes all other forms of recovery possible. It has never been more clear that deep investments in housing are needed, and the Build Back Better Agenda you are currently negotiating is just that opportunity. But now, investment in housing is on the chopping block. Through the negotiation process, devastating cuts have already been made to the proposed federal investments in the Housing as Infrastructure Act and rolling back any further would be catastrophic. That’s why we call on you to hold the line on housing.

We are currently in a decades-long housing crisis and communities are struggling now more than ever. The cost of housing has skyrocketed nationwide. It has become so unaffordable that nearly half of American workers can not afford to rent a one bedroom apartment. Public housing has suffered decades of underinvestment and neglect.  Our current housing system is broken and will get much worse without desperately needed federal intervention. This investment is critical to build a society that ensures that everyone has a safe and dignified place to call home.

As the Build Back Better Agenda has made its way through Congress, billions of dollars in proposed and necessary housing investment have already disappeared. Critical programs like Housing Vouchers, project-based rental assistance, and funds to support climate resilience and upgrades have already seen a significant reduction in allocations. Public housing is set to receive $80B, but this too is at risk. There is no mistake that such reductions will hurt people in under-resourced working class, Black, Indigenous, and people of color neighborhoods the most.

We are clear that this economic package alone is not sufficient to address the scale of the overlapping crises we face. But it is a crucial step. Cutting the necessary housing investments in the Build Back Better Agenda in the midst of this dark moment for millions of families is ignoring the real threat of widespread homelessness and poverty that will be caused by not getting this right. If you believe in doing what is needed to both bounce back from this pandemic, and have a long term recovery, you must maintain the housing investments currently in the legislation as proposed by Rep. Maxine Waters. Will you hold the line on housing with us?

 

Sincerely The Undersigned Organizations,

Right To The City Alliance
9to5 Colorado
Alliance for Housing Justice
California Green New Deal Coalition
CASA-New Settlement
Catholic Migration Services
Center for Economic Democracy
Center for Popular Democracy
Climate Justice Alliance
CODEPINK
Colorado Jobs With Justice
Community Service Society of New York
Community Voices Heard
Citizen Action of New York
For the Many
Free the People WNY Coalition
GOLES
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Green New Deal Network
Housing Justice for All
Housing Rights Initiative
Hudson Catskill Housing Coalition
Indigenous Environmental Network
Indivisible
Labor Network for Sustainability
Make the Road NY
Mijente
Met Council on Housing
MoveOn Political Action
National Women’s Law Center
Neighbors Together
New Hampshire Youth Movement
New York Communities for Change
Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition
NW Arkansas DSA
NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives
New York State Tenants & Neighbors
Partnership for the Public Good
Pennsylvania Stands Up
People’s Action (Homes Guarantee Campaign)
PolicyLink
Pratt Center for Community Development
RENA (Riverside Edgecombe Neighborhood Association)
Ridgewood Tenants Union
Safety Net Project – Urban Justice Center
Sunrise Movement
Tenants Political Action Committee
The Federation
The Frontline
Unemployed Workers United
VOCAL-NY
Women’s March
Working Families Party