NLIHC released today Advancing Housing Justice in the 118th Congress, a memorandum addressed to the new Congress outlining the ongoing need for federal investments in affordable, accessible housing and the long-term solutions required to end the nation’s affordable housing and homelessness crises.
In addition to detailing the extent of the housing crisis facing extremely low-income renters, the memorandum overviews the social costs of housing instability, particularly regarding racial equity, economic mobility, and access to healthcare and education. The memorandum advocates for several long-term solutions, including:
- Bridging the gap between incomes and housing costs.
- Expanding and preserving the supply of affordable, accessible rental homes for people with the lowest incomes.
- Providing emergency rental assistance to help stabilize families in crisis.
- Strengthening and enforcing robust renter protections.
The memorandum also identifies legislative opportunities available to the 118th Congress for advancing these solutions, from the fiscal year 2024 appropriations process to bipartisan legislation and other critical pieces of legislation, while highlighting threats to federal funding for affordable housing and homelessness programs, including proposed budget cuts that may emerge as part of Congress’s debt ceiling and appropriations negotiations.
As the memorandum makes clear, the severe shortage of safe, decent, affordable, and accessible housing is one of the most critical issues facing America’s lowest-income and most marginalized households – and one that must be squarely on the agenda for every member of Congress. Nationally, there is a shortage of 7 million rental homes affordable and available to people with the lowest incomes, and rents are far higher than what these households can reasonably afford. This housing affordability crisis impacts every state and nearly every community in the country and must be solved through direct federal action by the 118th Congress.