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My bold plan to get people off the streets. Part one.

One look at the Portland skyline reveals the changes unfolding here – and in cities across the country: new housing, new apartments, new condominiums.

But all of that growth doesn't mean anything as long as we have friends and neighbors sleeping in their cars, sleeping on the streets, barely scraping by.

It's not just a question of more housing; it's a question of making it affordable so people can actually take advantage of them. And it's a question of building enough for all of us, not just enough for the developers to make a profit.

All the housing stretching into the sky doesn't matter one bit if the people who need it are forced to spend another night on the streets – if children are cold and tired and without a safe place to spend the night.

That's why I've introduced a bold, comprehensive plan to address our nation's housing and houselessness epidemic.

I've been a champion of affordable housing during my time in Congress. But it's been a fight, with special interests pushing back on every step forward we make.

That's why it's time for a big change, for a new deal in housing the likes of which our country has never seen.

What does that mean? Well, for starters:

  • Build, build, build. Yes, we can't only build our way out of the housing crisis, but our public housing budget has been woefully shortchanged. Let's supercharge our federal investment in housing to get ahead of future demand. Millions upon millions are in line for housing assistance. Let's get them into homes.
  • Untie our hands. Right-wing hardliners have limited the amount of public housing construction that was possible. It's time to overturn those regulations and invest in a boom of public housing – not waste money senselessly.
  • Go public. I'm happy to see cities, counties, and states take initiative, but national problems require national solutions. We need to set the tone for this debate right at the top with a national fund to build homes until our national housing waitlist is down to zero.

Ambitious? You bet. But this doesn't have to be controversial. There's no excuse for the wealthiest nation in the history of the world to have people sleeping on sidewalks.

I'm looking forward to working with you and citizen activists nationwide to kick off a housing revolution.

Courage,
Earl

Posted on September 10, 2019.