Housing costs are one of the most pressing issues affecting the day to day lives of people in Southwest Washington. House prices and rent are increasing far faster than our salaries. Home ownership is increasingly out of reach, especially for young people. Working families and seniors can’t afford to stay in the communities they’ve called home for generations. Much is being done at the state and local levels to address the drivers of affordable housing in individual communities, and the federal government can do more to help.

Dignified housing is a right. To make sure we all have a home, we need robust, stable investment in the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. This investment would address the gap in current housing investment, much of which goes toward expensive luxury development.

It is imperative we tackle disparities in housing access. We need to increase investment in tribal and rural housing, two communities that are in desperate need of affordable, safe housing options but are often overlooked. Marginalized groups have been denied the same access to home-ownership and the wealth it generates through discriminatory renting and lending practices. By actually enforcing the Fair Housing Act and ensuring no discriminatory practices exist, and exploring housing voucher plans, we can make dignified housing an accessible right.

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