By
Sarah Owsley

Legal scholars and housing advocates alike have been watching the CDC eviction moratorium closely. I’ll let the lawyers work their own theories on whether the court cases will end up supporting the moratorium or will overturn it because the CDC doesn’t have that type of authority. As for housing advocates, we know that keeping people...
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The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have underscored the need for a strong housing safety net in the United States. COVID-19 was an economic catastrophe for many households precisely because so many already could not afford their homes and because the pre-pandemic housing assistance programs were not properly funded. The National Low Income Housing...
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I often describe myself as a grassroots organizer at my core. I really believe that there is no ethical way to advocate for legislative changes other than through the power of the people. For Empower Missouri, that means spending time with people in poverty and the nonprofits agencies they turn to for help. I can...
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Since the founding of America, our constitution has been an important guiding document for the country and each state. The Bill of Rights demonstrates a fundamental fairness that should apply to everyone within the justice system. While clearly there were some significant flaws, including that giant loophole which allowed for the enslavement of human beings,...
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In 2018, organizations across the country like Empower Missouri started to elevate the conversation around affordable housing. We wanted housing to be a major issue in the 2020 Presidential election, and we succeeded. Candidates talked about affordable housing policy at every debate and were pushed to release housing policy plans. All of this groundwork from...
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The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s newly released report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes 2021, finds a housing shortage of over 122,000 affordable and available rental homes for extremely low income households in Missouri. Nationally, 7 million of our nation’s extremely low-income renter households, who make up one quarter of all renters in...
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While Missouri hasn’t had a unified plan to tamp down the spread of COVID-19 in our state, municipalities have put in place many different response strategies. From mask ‘suggestions’ all the way to strict stay at home orders and shuttering of non-essential businesses, all of us have been impacted by the pandemic and response in...
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As the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, advocates from Empower Missouri and several ally organizations have been meeting weekly to discuss what we can do to keep utility service secure for all of our neighbors this winter. Obviously our state will have better outcomes during the coronavirus pandemic and recession if we do not...
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In 2019, the Affordable Housing Coalition identified the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) as a key issue to target. While flawed, this program is the primary way our state invests in the development of new and inexpensive housing, a commodity which Missouri significantly lacks. For every 100 households earning 30% of their Area Median...
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For the last few years, I’ve practiced asking my friends and family if they were planning to vote and what that plan was. I was used to asking how they planned to vote on issues, though rarely about candidates. Before that I’d never really asked, “What time do you think you’ll head to the polls?”...
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