As HUD Secretary Ben Carson visited Chicago today, renters and tenants in affordable housing demanded he address the national affordable housing emergency, holding signs that said “This is a housing crisis!” and “Renters are the real affordable housing experts.”
As Jane Addams Senior Caucus leader and public housing resident Jeliner Jordan says, , “Secretary Ben Carson: to solve this national housing crisis you have to pay us back, reinvest in affordable housing to meet the need, and listen to the real affordable housing experts: those experiencing the housing crisis, not big developers and bankers, in all your work.”
This disruption comes only a few hours after Carson was confronted by leaders from the Chicago Housing Initiative, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, ONE Northside, and Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance, after announcing plans last week to undermine Obama-era policies designed to equalize housing conditions and housing choice for people of color, people with disabilities and other protected classes. Carson’s announcement will undercut Fair Housing policies that would have required cities to submit detailed plans about how they will equalize housing and neighborhood conditions for protected classes (through investments into communities of color as well as desegregation efforts to increase affordable housing in high wealth neighborhoods).
In December, people directly impacted by the affordable housing crisis from ONE Northside and Jane Addams Senior Caucus visited Washington DC as part of a national hearing, where they testified on the urgency of the affordable housing crisis and possible solutions, outlined here.
As ONE Northside leader Honni Harris, who disrupted Secretary Carson today and was also part of December’s People’s Housing Hearing in DC said, “People are running out of places to live. Instead of helping the people who need it most during this housing crisis, Secretary Carson is undermining the civil rights protections of housing policy. There are real solutions that HUD and Secretary Carson must take seriously — but instead he’s making things worse for people that are already struggling to find housing.”
For the complete People’s Housing Agenda, click here or go to: https://peoplesaction.org/campaigns/peoples-hearing-on-housing/