Housing is a Human Right
America has an affordable housing crisis. More than half of Americans spend at least a third of their income on housing. While real wages for middle-wage earners have stagnated and wages for low-wage earners have declined since 2000, urban rental costs have increased by 50%. In the Williams Bridge and Baychester sections of the Bronx, 78% of low-income renters are moderately or severely rent-burdened. In Mount Vernon, student homelessness has tripled since 2009, now totaling 10% of the total student population.
Recognizing housing as a human right guarantees that every person lives with a roof over their head, with dignity, not crippled by crushing rents or mortgages.
Housing justice will come from not only ending homelessness and housing insecurity but in eliminating exclusionary zoning. With equitable zoning and affordable, decommodified housing, we will be better able to tackle residential segregation, ensure educational equity, prevent displacement, and deal with the environmental issues of exurban transit deserts.
Housing is a Human Right:
Build twelve million public homes over the next ten years
Reinstitute Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule
Enact an Economic Fair Housing act to eliminate exclusionary zoning laws and implement equitable zoning
Support housing finance reform legislation that would provide $3.5 billion per year for the National Housing Trust Fund
Provide $50 billion in rent subsidies for moderately and severely rent-burdened families
Guarantee tenant’s rights (just cause eviction; right to a renewal lease; right to organize a tenant association; right to counsel)
Support local rent control laws that limit rent increases (publicly accountable rent control boards)
Provide funding for limited equity co-ops, community land trusts, and mutual housing