Our national and regional housing crisis has hit a tipping point. For far too many people, the dream of having a safe and affordable home is unreachable.
Rising housing costs in and around Boston push renters further and further away from the city, exacerbating commute times and contributing to congestion. And with the supply of available units so low in many communities in the Fourth District, even middle class families are priced out of the market. Housing is often portrayed as a luxury. In reality, it affects so many of the basic elements of our lives: the education and healthcare we receive, the job opportunities available to us, and the communities in which we can engage. That is why Jesse believes housing is a human right.
For too long, we’ve seen decreases in funding for middle- and low-income housing, and inadequate national pressure to encourage communities to increase the construction of more units. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is tasked with ending discriminatory housing practices, but it refuses to use its power to investigate patterns of segregation and the legacy of racially discriminatory practices like redlining that have contributed to the racial wealth gap. While most of our housing decisions occur at the local level, Congress needs to get off the sidelines and into the fight. We must provide meaningful help to those pushed aside by an unaffordable market and protect the most vulnerable among us against unfair and predatory policies. We must reverse our current approach and use the resources and influence of the federal government to expand the supply of safe, environmentally friendly, and affordable housing.
Here’s Jesse’s vision for tackling our housing crisis:
- Increase Affordable Housing-Related Investments. Such investments include expanding the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, funding for public housing, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Federal Historic Tax Credit, and Section 8, a federally-funded housing subsidy for seniors, the disabled, and low-income renters.
- Create Federal Grants to Encourage Housing Development. Jesse will fight for new federal grants that award funding for local projects to communities that enact inclusionary zoning laws, enable the construction of more housing units, and intentionally build housing near public transportation.
- Hold HUD Accountable for Its Failures. Jesse will be a leading – and loud – voice in Congress to ensure HUD better monitors and enforces existing laws and regulations aimed at ending discriminatory policies against people of color.
- Protect LGBTQ+ People from Discrimination. No one should ever be denied housing on the basis of their gender identification or sexual preference. In Congress Jesse will support legislation such as the Equality Act, which protects LGBTQ+ from discrimination in housing and other areas.