October 31, 2017

U.S. Senate unanimously endorses “National Month for Renters” Resolution

Originally published by makeroomusa.org

RESOLUTION DESIGNATES SEPTEMBER 2017 AND 2018 EACH AS “NATIONAL MONTH FOR RENTERS”

HIGHLIGHTS DIMENSIONS OF AMERICA’S RENTAL AFFORDABILITY CRISIS AND CALLS FOR A NATIONAL RESPONSE

Washington, DC, October 31, 2017 – Late yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved S. Res. 312, a resolution supported by Make Room and introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), that designates September 2017 and 2018 each as “National Month for Renters.” The resolution details the severity of America’s rental affordability crisis and calls for a national response involving all levels of government, the private sector, and the philanthropic community.

“This is a landmark day. For the first time, the entire U.S. Senate has acknowledged the devastating impact of America’s rental affordability crisis on families and communities and the need for a comprehensive and sustained response. We are deeply grateful to Senators Cassidy and Van Hollen for moving this critical legislation so quickly through the Senate,” said Ali Solis, Make Room President and CEO. She added: “Solving the rental affordability crisis can lead to tremendous benefits – more stable families and communities, greater equality of opportunity, and stronger economic growth. It’s my hope that passage of S. Res. 312 will jump-start the effort to craft meaningful solutions.”

As outlined in S. Res. 312:

  • The number of households renting their homes has increased by 9 million over the past decade, the largest 10-year gain on record;
  • More than 11 million households in communities across the country pay in excess of 50 percent of their income on rent and utilities, making them severely cost-burdened under Federal standards;
  • These 11 million severely cost-burdened households include 14 million women, 8 million children, 9 million Millennials, 2 million senior citizens, and nearly 800,000 veterans;
  • The nation’s lowest-income renters face a shortage of affordable and available rental homes;
  • Federal rental assistance programs serve only 25 percent of eligible households; and
  • Expanding the supply of rental homes affordable to low- and moderate-income households, particularly homes close to employment opportunities, will a) help reduce commuting costs, b) restore the first rungs of the housing ladder, c) stabilize families and communities, d) promote equality of opportunity, and e) support great economic growth and prosperity.

This past July, Representatives Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and Denny Heck (D-WA) introduced a House version of S. Res. 312(H. Res. 475). On September 12, Representatives Poliquin and Heck joined Senator Van Hollen, several Make Room families, and country music star Kane Brown at a Capitol Hill briefing in support of the National Month for Renters resolution.

Media Contact: Dottie Kramer; dottie@makeroomusa.org; 301-495-4359

Make Room, the leading organization working to address the rental affordability crisis, gives voice to struggling renters and elevates rental housing on the national agenda. We advocate for better policies, tell the personal stories of these renters, and connect them to our nation’s leaders through a digital platform. To date, nearly 190,000 messages (emails, tweets) have been sent through the digital platform to elected representatives across the country. Make Room is a valuable source of up-to-date information about the dimensions of the rental affordability crisis.

For more information about Make Room, Inc. please visit http://www.makeroomusa.org or follow on Facebook/MakeRoomUSA, Twitter @MakeRoomUSA, and Instagram@MakeRoomUSA

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