OUR POLICY FOCUSES

Bring America Home NOW (BAHN) has 6 major policy pillars that focus our movement’s fight to end homelessness. Each of these pillars have short term and long term policy focuses. As our movement progresses, BAHN will be updating and adding to our political focus areas as we push legislation on a national and local level. 

 

Our national partners are advocates from around the country, sharing insight on state and citywide struggles that heavily influence our national political pillar focuses.  As a movement, we incorporate local struggles into the national discussion as a comprehensive grassroots movement to end homelessness.

 

Please toggle the pillars below for more information on our political focuses as a grassroots movement.

 

Goal: To advance legislation that acknowledges housing as a basic human right and fills the gap of affordable housing in the U.S. 

Short-Term Priorities

  • Improve the distribution, re-allocation, and ease of access for all housing resources made available through Covid-19 relief packages Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP I and II) and the Emergency Housing Voucher Program.  
  • Actively participate in opportunities to raise awareness for increases in housing programs including:
    • Maximum funding for HUD permanent Housing programs (preservation, universal vouchers, and public housing capital fund)
    • Increased attention and funding for HUD’s Section 8 Homeownership Program 
    • Maximum funding for the National Housing Trust Fund
    • Maximum funding for HUD’s Homeless Assistance Program Funding. 
    • Immediately restore local control, flexibility, ease of access (no wrong door) to the Continuum of Care resources distributed by HUD. Ensure that individuals with lived experience are in a decision-making role at the community level overseeing the distribution of CoC resources. 

 

Long-Term Priorities

  • Americans acknowledge that housing is a human right
  • All low-income and extremely low-income area people in the US will be able to afford safe, permanent housing by spending no more than 30 percent of their income
  • Fair housing will be enforced in accessing housing, in zoning, and in access to homeownership
  • Homeless will be ended and prevented, and everyone will be home. 

Goal: To achieve universal access to health care for all Americans, especially those experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

 

Short-Term Priorities

  • Support/advocate for current proposals in Congress to expand coverage through both Medicare (adding services and expanding eligibility) and Medicaid (to close the coverage gap in the 12 states that have not yet expanded coverage).
    Obtain CMS endorsement of medical respite care as a state-level benefit for people experiencing homelessness who need post-hospital care to recuperate from illness/injury, and work with several individual states to make medical respite care a reimbursable service through Medicaid.
  • Advocate to remove the X-waiver (a specific requirement for providers to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder); advocate for more syringe services programs; advocate for overdose prevention programs (aka safe injection facilities); support the CARE Act, which would provide $100B over 10 years for SUD treatment.
  • Advocacy for medical respite care will also improve hospital discharges so that people experiencing homelessness have a safe space to recuperate from illness and injury.

 

Long-Term Priorities

  • Continue to support/advocate for a single payer health care system (also known as Medicare for All, H.R. 1976).
    Create/expand programs in all communities, continue to expand Medicaid coverage of services.
  • Continue to promote harm reduction approaches, battle stigma, and ensure equitable, low-barrier access to high-quality mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
  • Advocacy for medical respite care will also improve hospital discharges so that people experiencing homelessness have a safe space to recuperate from illness and injury.

 

 

Goal: To ensure livable wages and basic income for all Americans that is linked to the local cost of housing.

 

Short-Term Priorities

  • Increase Minimum Wage – Support $15/hour Campaigns
  • Support Universal Basic Income Programs/Campaigns (still eligible for public assistance)
  • Make the Child Tax Credit a Permanent program
  • For the SNAPS program, increases should becomes permanent in legislation (currently an Administrative order)

Long-Term Priorities

  • Jobs must pay Livable Incomes adequate for people to meet their basic needs (Housing, food, clothing, etc.) and have necessary supports to maintain employment (child care, paid family leave).
  • Ensure that Livable Incomes are Indexed to Housing for People on Public Assistance, unemployment, SSI, SSDI, SS, SNAPs, etc.
  • Increase asset level to $20,000. Excludes a vehicle and home for people on SS, SSI, SSDI.
  • Ensure Guaranteed Income-Tax Credit of $1200/month/adult. Maintain eligibility for Public Assistance for people with incomes under $75,000.

 

Goal: To ensure a well-educated society in order to advance equity, build community, and promote economic success.

 

Short-Term Priorities

  • Higher Education and Technical Education
    • Expand Community College Opportunities to promote technical jobs and pathways
      • Choices for career pathways; technical training options; expand infrastructure bill to expose youth/adults to trait jobs and developing employable skill sets. Teaching people skills to build housing.  
    • Develop a resource center and/or guide to share certification opportunities. 
    • Partner with HBCUs. 
    • $50-$100k Debt forgiveness on school loans
  • Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2021 (HCYA)
    • S. 1469 reintroduced April 2021. Transportation is paid; high quality child care; therapeutic and mental health services; universal preschool; free community college and postsecondary education investments for homeless youth 

 

Long-Term Priorities

  • Public Education
    • Civic education is embedded in the public school curriculum (tenant rights, voting, financial literacy, health, government functioning) – all students are given the opportunity to  learn about and develop fundamental skill sets on core topics – civics and democracy.
  • Centering economic and racial justice in education
    • Create professional development and training opportunities.
    • Focus on children/youth living in poverty and experiencing homelessness.

 

 

Goal: In an effort to end and prevent homelessness with an extreme sense of urgency, we want to guarantee and protect the civil and voting rights of those experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness. 

 

Short-Term Priorities

  • End the criminalization of people experiencing homelessness.
  • Ensure that all citizens are able to exercise their right to vote.
  • End the use of police as de facto social workers to interact with people experiencing homelessness.

 

Long-Term Priorities

  • Jurisdictions will pass local Bill of Rights for people experiencing homelessness to state clearly local policies and practices that protect their rights of freedom and right to free choice.
  • End all discrimination of people experiencing homelessness and protect their human and civil rights in the same way we protect all people, regardless of their economic circumstances or special needs.

 

 

Goal: To advance legislation that acknowledges homelessness as a racial justice issue in the United States, and promote racial equity as we work toward housing justice. 

 

Short-Term Priorities

  • Increase fair market rent and change the formula for fair market rent (i.e., how it is currently determined); and increase Section 8 access
  • Need to prioritize people for housing (i.e., red lined communities)
  • Clarify and expand definitions (“homeless” and “race/ethnicity”) to be inclusive
  • Prioritize equitable system agency or decision-making, focusing on people of color with lived experience of homelessness
  • Protect individuals and families facing mass eviction and secure tenant rights to counsel:
    • 90 percent of landlords are represented by legal counsel; fewer than 10 percent of tenants have representation
    • Black women are disproportionately facing evictions

 

Long-Term Priorities

  • Change the Point-in-Time count process
  • Conduct racial equity analysis and prioritization in all homeless systems and policy positions