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The Progressive - April 6, 2022

Declaring housing as a human right is not a new concept. President Franklin Roosevelt said during his 1944 State of the Union address that “the right of every family to a decent home” was an economic truth that was “self-evident,” thereby linking the right to housing to the Declaration of Independence. 

A new bill that seeks to declare housing as a human right represents a turning point in how the federal government is responding to America’s affordable housing crisis.

The Homes For All Act, reintroduced on March 24 by Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, seeks to invest more than $800 billion over ten years to construct more than twelve million affordable housing units. More than 8.5 million of those homes would be public housing, and another $200 million would be invested in the Housing Trust Fund, which is aiming to help developers build 3.5 million new private affordable housing projects for low and extremely-low income families.

The bill would also repeal the Faircloth Amendment, which has prevented the Department of Housing and Urban Development from investing in public housing since it was passed in 1998. Omar previously introduced the bill in 2019, but it stalled in the House Financial Services Committee.

Currently, many qualified potential homebuyers remain priced out of the U.S. housing market. According to the latest data from Zillow, the average list prices for homes has ballooned by 28 percent over the past three years, with more than 20 percent of that growth coming after the pandemic began. Home prices in metropolitan areas ranging from Boise, Iowa, to Greensboro, North Carolina, have seen even higher growth, and are now out of reach for workers who earn a median salary.

“The pandemic has made clear how deep our affordable housing crisis is,” Omar said in a statement. ...
Read full report at The Progressive