Washington, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition applauds the Biden-Harris administration for its launch of the ALL INside initiative, to help address unsheltered homelessness in five cities and the State of California, using an all-of-government approach.
“As our nation’s housing crisis worsens, more people are pushed into homelessness each day,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Homelessness is on the rise in many communities, and every level of government must take immediate action to address this urgent, tragic, and solvable issue. This is a meaningful, welcomed, and robust commitment by the Biden-Harris administration to address unsheltered homelessness. But, without additional federal resources to make homes affordable for the lowest income people, its success will be limited. Congress must reject House Republican proposals to slash federal investments in affordable housing and homelessness program and instead expand investments in proven solutions to the scale needed.”
The underlying cause of America’s housing and homelessness crisis is the severe shortage of homes affordable and available to people with the lowest incomes and the widening gap between incomes and housing costs. There is a national shortage of 7.3 million homes that are affordable and available to America’s lowest-income renters. The severe shortage of affordable and available homes is a structural feature of the country’s housing system, consistently impacting every state and nearly every community.
Without affordable housing options, 10 million of the lowest-income renter households pay at least half of their income on rent, leaving them without the resources they need to make ends meet. These households are just one financial emergency or unexpected expense away from facing eviction and, in worst cases, homelessness. Despite the clear and urgent need, Congress only provides housing assistance to one in four eligible households.
The House-passed “Limit, Save, Grow Act” would result in up to 33% in cuts to funding for key housing and homelessness programs. According to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, such cuts would “represent the most devastating impacts in HUD’s history” and “make it impossible to stave off mass evictions.” Nearly 1 million households could lose HUD rental assistance, and nearly 120,000 fewer people experiencing homelessness would be served. The bill would also rescind unobligated COVID-19-relief funding – including resources to address unsheltered homelessness – and put in place rigid work requirements for some anti-poverty programs, among other harmful provisions.
To end America’s housing and homelessness crisis once and for all, Congress must invest resources in proven, long-term solutions at the scale needed. These solutions include bridging the gap between incomes and rent through universal rental assistance; expanding and preserving the supply of rental homes affordable to the lowest-income people; providing emergency assistance to stabilize and prevent homelessness for renters experiencing financial shocks; and establishing and enforcing strong renter protections.
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