Our Homes, Our Voices Week of Action

May 1, 2018 – May 8, 2018

Between May 1 and May 8, Empower Missouri and our housing allies across the state are joining the National Low Income Housing Coalition for Our Homes, Our Voices, a week of coordinated national action, demanding greater federal investments in affordable rental homes.

The lack of affordable housing is a national crisis. Millions of people, many of them with part- or full-time employment, do not have an affordable place to call home. At least half a million people are living on the street, in shelters, or in their cars on any given night, washing up in public restrooms – if they are not barred from establishments like a caste of “untouchables.”

Missouri is not exempt from this crisis. In fact, the lack of state investment in affordable housing here creates conditions worse than many states. Hundreds of thousands of Missouri households are “cost-burdened” – meaning they pay more than 30% of their incomes on housing and utilities. Twenty-seven percent of renters in Missouri have incomes that meet a standard called “extremely low” (defined as thirty percent or below of Area Median Income – AMI). We would need 125,578 more units of affordable and available housing just to meet these needs of these extremely low income neighbors, not to mention hundreds of thousands of other renters with incomes below 80% of AMI.

These are the conditions that Missouri advocates are drawing attention to during Our Homes, Our Voices week, but what changes are we demanding? President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request proposes drastic cuts to housing benefits that help millions of seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other vulnerable people with low incomes afford their homes. Our message: Congress must reject any proposed cuts to housing benefits and should instead fully invest in affordable housing resources that help low income families keep a roof over their heads.

The Northeast Community Action Corporation in Bowling Green will be getting two stories placed in northeast Missouri papers, profiling clients who have been helped with affordable housing. One is about to graduate from nursing school, and the other is in college. The point of the stories is that affordable housing is an investment in educational attainment that leads to family security.
Contact for this action is Carla Potts, cpotts@necac.org.

Empower Missouri will feature Our Homes, Our Voices in our Weekly Perspective email blast, declaring May 4 as a “Call-In Day for Affordable Housing.”

Find additional information or add your own event at this link: https://www.ourhomes-ourvoices.org/local-events

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