Housing and Homelessness

“In a nation as rich and compassionate as America, there is no reason that any American should not have a roof over their heads. Taking care of America means taking care of Americans and I believe that we have a responsibility as a nation to ensure access to safe and affordable housing for all Americans."

SUMMARY OF STANCE

A cornerstone of the American Dream has always been the promise of owning a home. I am committed to helping make this an achievable reality for all Americans. As a member of Congress, I am dedicated to strengthening and protecting initiatives that create sustainable, livable communities and foster a culture of responsible home ownership for hardworking families. However, just as we need to make sure that all hard-working Americans have a chance to participate in the American Dream, we must also remember that we have a duty as a society to provide shelter for every American. 

RELATED LEGISLATION AND ACTIONS

Introducing legislation is just one action that a member of Congress can take to address a concern or issue that impacts constituents. House Members can also introduce Congressional resolutions calling on the House (or even the full Congress) as a body to recognize or support a certain event or position on an issue. Members can write letters to government leaders requesting they take certain action, hold hearings with expert panels to address issues, work with colleagues at the committee level on specific issues, or even make direct in-person appeals to other Members or officials in the government. Here are a few examples of how I have taken action on this issue.

Affordable Housing
Since 2008, American families have experienced record high default and foreclosure rates due in part to predatory, unscrupulous lending practices and the job losses resulting from the Great Recession. Millions of working families in America devote too much of their income to pay for their housing and such high housing costs limit the ability of many families to cover other basic needs.  Tragically, this has also led to many American families finding themselves homeless or without adequate housing.

Compounding the problem is the rising cost of housing. Housing costs have risen almost 80 percent over the past five years in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

I was a proud supporter of the bipartisan H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” which was signed into law in 2016. This law, which I voted in favor of, modernizes and streamlines federal affordable housing programs for low-income families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

Ending Homelessness

I cosponsored H.R. 2076, the “Ending Homelessness Act,” which dedicates $13.27 billion in mandatory funding to programs dedicated to ending homelessness. To combat the growing issue of homelessness, I strongly believe this investment would go far in assisting communities making progress in reducing the number of American families facing homelessness. In our own community, I urged Governor Jerry Brown to pay particular attention to the homelessness situation in Los Angeles County. Along with other Los Angeles area Members of Congress, we urged the Governor to declare a state of emergency in the state, which would allow access to state funding for rapid rehousing efforts. While Governor Brown did not declare a state of emergency, I am hopeful that he will prioritize additional discretionary funding in the state budget to address this issue.

For more information concerning my work and views on housing and homelessness, please contact me.

More on Housing and Homelessness

January 4, 2019 Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today applauded the introduction yesterday of H.R. 1, a sweeping and comprehensive voting rights, election security, and anti-corruption legislative package named the For The People Act. HR1 includes key provisions to restore election integrity taken from the Congressman's previously introduced legislation, the Redistricting Reform Act.

July 23, 2015 Press Release
Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) has signed on as an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act, comprehensive legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT individuals in public accommodations, housing, employment, and other core areas of daily life.

September 20, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Alan Lowenthal today released the following statement about the "Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act," legislation which cuts basic food aid (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/SNAP) by nearly $40 billion, denying basic food for nearly 4 million Americans next year: