Rental housing affordability has worsened dramatically over the past 15 years, and more American families than ever are struggling to pay the rent and make ends meet. The housing affordability crisis spills over into many other areas of life, forcing households to make impossible choices between paying the rent and paying for heat, food, medications, transportation, and other necessities. Leading national organizations from an array of sectors — education, health, civil rights, anti-poverty, anti-hunger, faith, criminal justice, social work, child welfare, municipal governance, and more — are coming together through Opportunity Starts at Home, an unprecedented multi-sector campaign to tackle the nation’s housing affordability crisis.
During this Congressional Briefing, the audience will hear from three Steering Committee members of the campaign:
Children’s HealthWatch will present major findings from its original ground-breaking research which showcases the deep connections between housing and health outcomes. Children’s HealthWatch is a leading network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts;
Children’s Defense Fund will discuss its recent “Ending Child Poverty Now” report, which demonstrated that housing vouchers are one of the most powerful existing federal tools to significantly and efficiently reduce childhood poverty. Children’s Defense Fund educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.
National League of Cities will highlight its recent “Homeward Bound” report, which contains both federal and local policy recommendations developed by over 20 mayors, councilmembers, and local leaders across the country. National League of Cities is an advocacy organization which represents the country’s 19,000 cities, towns, and villages.
These three organizations, along with nearly 100 other multi-sector national organizations, are partnering through the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign to urge Congress to enact policies which expand affordable housing for low income people. As the presentations will demonstrate, the research is overwhelming that stronger investments in affordable homes will generate multiplying returns in the form of better health outcomes and reduced healthcare expenditures, more vibrant and productive local economies, and increased economic mobility for low-income people.
Organizer of Tackling America’s Housing Crisis Through Cross-Sector Partnerships
The Opportunity Starts at Home campaign is chaired by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and is advised by a Steering Committee representing a wide range of leading national organizations: Catholic Charities USA, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s HealthWatch, Community Catalyst, Food Research & Action Center, JustLeadershipUSA, NAACP, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Association of Social Workers, National League of Cities, National Education Association, and UnidosUS.