Housing means stability for families
While a roof over someone’s head is something too often taken for granted, a roof and four walls imbue people with a sense of stability, one that allows them to turn their attention to other priorities, like finding a better job or helping their kids with school.
When housing is uncertain, or when so much of a paycheck goes to rent that it keeps someone from basic necessities, it’s impossible to think about anything else.
And when there’s the inevitable emergency?
All bets are off. In a year of Covid, we saw millions of people working in low-paying jobs in hospitality and other industries lose those jobs. These workers were already living paycheck to paycheck. They didn’t have a cushion.
HUD estimates that 12 million households (renting and owning) pay more than 50 percent of their take-home income on housing each year. And to be clear, in no state can a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
Housing matters on a deeply personal level
Housing, as a social policy, is something that’s been litigated—and re-litigated—for decades, and quite vigorously so. And that’s because it matters, deeply, on an individual level how we frame the discourse. If we bolster the homes themselves, then we, in turn, support the people inside them—for whom these buildings are far more than just a roof and four walls. Read more