The United States is suffering from an affordable housing crisis. Right now, 40% of renters are at risk of eviction and there is nowhere in the United States where a minimum wage job can pay for a decent apartment. Stemming from the housing market collapse of the early 2000s, there are now 16.8 million vacant homes in the United States.
- ● Increasing funding to Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, Project-Based Rental Assistance, Public Housing Operating Funds, and Public Housing Capital Grant program.
- ● Treating housing as an infrastructure component to encourage more funding of public and privately funded housing projects.
- ● Reinvigorating the HOPE VI program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and expanding the eligibility requirements to include more public housing authorities that can receive funding to repair and upgrade housing conditions.
- ● Empowering states and cities to implement rent control policies that allow for neighborhood development, but prevent forcing Americans out of their homes are spending most of their income on rent.
Housing for Young People
Young people now grow up in a constant state of debt. They can have school lunch debt until they graduate high school, then go on to have student loan debt and credit card debt, and payments continue to snowball as interest adds up. As a result of generational economic stressors, home ownership among young people is at a historic low. To solve this, Congresswoman Kaptur (D-OH-09) proposed the Student Debt to Home Equity Act of 2019 that would create a pilot program that would allow federal loan borrowers to transition student debt into home equity by refinancing and taking a mortgage out on one of the thousands of vacant homes owned by the federal government and local land banks. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports this pilot program and the expansion to a national program if it proves successful.
Homelessness leaves 500,000 Americans out on the streets each night while millions of homes stay vacant. Amazing advocacy work is being done by groups like the National Alliance to End Homelessness to help create solutions to America’s homelessness problem. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Expanding current proposals of $3.1 billion in Homeless Assistance Grants to $5 billion to encourage local governments to take broader, more drastic action to combat homelessness.
- ● Providing health screenings to homeless people to ensure they understand their current health condition when relocated under homeless assistance programs.
- ● Having HUD and the VA work together to relocate homeless veterans near VA care facilities so that veterans have access to both housing and medical care.
●Emphasizing accessible mental health care services to homeless people to ensure they receive necessary treatment.
●Creating a network of social workers who are adequately trained in de-escalation and confrontation to properly aid homeless people with mental disabilities and/or drug-related issues in the place of traditional police forces.
Strengthening the Social Safety Net