Tell Congress: Invest in affordable housing and protect renters.
The Biden administration has released a new renter protection blueprint — a bold initiative that protects renters, promotes rental affordability, uses an evidence-based strategy to quickly connect people to homes, and helps them access voluntary services such as substance use treatment, peer support, and employment services.
We applaud this move by the Biden administration and also realize that without federal legislation there are serious limits to what the White House can do.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw how rental protections provided a necessary lifeline to families who had just lost income or members of their household due to the virus. People are still getting sick with COVID, inflation is at record highs, and the financial support and expanded tax credits millions received during the pandemic have expired.
We’re dealing with a national shortage of 7 million affordable homes for low-income renters. This severe shortage of homes is a structural feature of America’s housing system that builds upon almost a century of discriminatory housing policies and practices that exist to this day. The affordable housing crisis impacts every city, state, and community and without Congress’ intervention, the lasting effects on our educational, health care, and economic systems will be catastrophic.
Week after week, the toll of the pandemic grows, damaging the health and economic security of millions. Joblessness is skyrocketing; shocking numbers are running out of food, losing health insurance, and failing to pay rent. These are depression conditions, and Congress’ response must match the severity of the downturn to prevent another Great Depression. Each of these numbers point to solutions Congress must speedily enact.