For Immediate Release
September 5, 2019
Contact: Tara Raghuveer, (913) 593-7032
CHICAGO – After years of organizing, grassroots leaders from the People’s Action network released their vision for a national Homes Guarantee policy on Thursday. The plan, summarized in a briefing book available for download online, outlines a package of structural reforms that will ensure all people living in the United States have safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable housing.
“The problem is simple: bankers, developers, and landlords have been allowed to charge our families more and more and provide us with less and less,” said Rose Fernandez, member of Community Voices Heard (NY) and People’s Action’s housing justice cohort, who helped create the plan. “They created a system to maximize their profit above all else, so our solution is equally simple: change the whole system. Put people first.”
The Homes Guarantee addresses the root causes of the affordable housing crisis:
- Build 12 million new social housing units over the next ten years;
- Invest $150 billion in existing public housing infrastructure over the next 5 years;
- Establish a National Tenants’ Bill of Rights;
- Pay reparations for centuries of racist housing policy by guaranteeing principal cancellation or reduction, enforcing fair housing law, and other measures;
- End housing and land speculation and de-commodify housing;
- Establish a People’s Housing Commission; and
- Embed goals and standards of the Green New Deal at every level.
The plan already has support from several prominent progressive members of Congress, who will soon introduce a package of bills to realize the vision for a Homes Guarantee.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you started hearing presidential candidates talking about the Homes Guarantee in a month or two,” said Peter Gowan, policy associate at the Democracy Collaborative and author of a widely circulated paper on social housing, who contributed policy analysis to the Homes Guarantee briefing book. “People are hurting and want big, bold structural change, yet in a country where no one earning minimum wage can afford a 2-bedroom apartment, housing has been shockingly absent from the conversation.”
The Homes Guarantee was developed by a group of over 100 grassroots leaders in the People’s Action network, who gathered biweekly for 14 months to develop a plan that would truly make a difference in their lives and for their communities. Later, housing policy experts and progressive organizations were invited in to contribute feedback.
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The briefing book is available for download at homesguarantee.com. Spokesperson contact information and photos are available for use by the press upon request. Please email Tara Raghuveer at [email protected] for further assistance.
People’s Action is a progressive, multiracial, working-class coalition of more than a million people and 48 member organizations in 30 states. We fight for racial, gender, climate and economic justice.