Affordable, accessible, safe, and stable housing supports human thriving, which in turn drives a strong economy — we cannot say our economy is working when millions of people are unhoused or one financial emergency away from losing their homes. The longstanding housing crisis, which has been only been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic, is the result of deliberate government choices about who to exclude from investments. We can’t afford to go back to the pre-pandemic status quo. Only massive, sustained public investment can create a housing system that meets the needs of the people, especially women of color and their families.

These talking points, co-authored by Groundwork Collaborative, underscores:

  • Decades of misguided concerns about the deficit and narratives about who is worthy of public investment has resulted in insufficient federal housing assistance that has never come close to meeting the needs of every eligible household.
  • Our government has made monumental investments in housing that support largely white, largely middle- and upper-class homeowners. Invoking arbitrary deficit fears in response to the housing policies that benefit lower-income renters — especially women of color and their families — underscores racist and sexist ideas of deservingness. We can and must make different choices in how we invest in housing.
  • Housing policy that meets people’s needs is popular, grows and sustains local economies and communities, and is essential to addressing economic inequality as a whole. Any attempt to create a stronger, more equitable economy must prioritize large-scale public investments in housing. Congress must start with expanding rental assistance to every eligible household; investing at least $70 billion to preserve public housing; and committing at least $45 billion to building homes through the national Housing Trust Fund.