FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2018
Contact: Michelle Nicolet
Chicago, IL—Everyone should have access to safe, affordable housing. It’s crucial for children to grow up healthy, for parents to pursue work and education, and for families and individuals to achieve economic security. Though greatly underfunded, federal housing assistance programs help millions of low-income people throughout the country keep roofs over their head each month.
Yet just months after delivering lavish tax cuts to large corporations and our country’s wealthiest households, the Trump Administration has proposed deep cuts to rental assistance for millions of people struggling to make ends meet. Released earlier today, the “Make Affordable Housing Work Act” would impose rent hikes, red tape dressed up as “work requirements,” and other burdens on low-income households—all during one of the worst affordable housing crises our country has ever seen.
The Trump Administration’s attack on affordable housing will cause poverty and homelessness to soar, while undermining employment outcomes. Drastically raising rents on low-income households would harm children, people with disabilities, older adults, and other vulnerable populations the most—increasing their risk of housing instability and homelessness and pushing them deeper into poverty.
Even worse, the proposal’s call for expanding work requirements flies in the face of the fact that most housing assistance recipients who can work, already do. Research is clear that work requirements in housing and other federal anti-poverty programs have failed to connect struggling adults to meaningful employment. Instead, they are largely used as a mechanism to take vital assistance away from low-income people when they need it the most—which only makes finding and maintaining work more difficult.
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law condemns this cruel and counterproductive proposal and calls on lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to roundly reject it. If our elected leaders are serious about improving the financial security of people living in or near poverty, they should be investing in affordable housing programs—not tearing them down.
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.orgDownload this