America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet millions of Americans are unhoused and experiencing homelessness. The American housing crisis is so dire, one study found that on one cold night in January 2020, over 580,000 people were experiencing homelessness.
Research has shown us that a primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is the lack of affordable housing. This year alone, the median cost of rent topped a staggering $2,000 per month, the highest ever recorded.
Federal housing policies exacerbate the crisis. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) most well-known tool to combat homelessness is the Federal Housing Voucher Program, popularly known as Section 8. But only 1 in 4 households that qualify for a Housing Choice Voucher are accepted into the program. There are also scores of public housing units across the nation that are dilapidated, unsafe, and have rodent and insect problems that are not being addressed by the federal government.
Families struggling through the American housing crisis deserve to live with dignity.