Housing is a Human Right

Every year, I attend an interfaith memorial for homeless people who died on the streets of San Francisco.  A prayer, that we do not need to meet next year, is always spoken.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budgets were cut during the Carter administration in the late 70’s.   Reagan slashed it further in the 1980’s.  It has never been restored.

Homelessness in America is a national disgrace that first became headline news in the 1980’s just after the U.S. government stopped building workforce housing.  The result?  The cost to cities and counties for providing services to those who are homeless soared.  Our national plan to eliminate homelessness?  Except for nominal funding in our federal budget, cities and counties pay for it.

We need national leadership to end homelessness.  The private real estate industry has shown it will not build affordable housing.  The federal government must.  For a small fraction of what we spend on military each year, every American could have a roof over their heads.

My campaign is for the thousands who have died on our streets, many of whom were veterans.  Low income and workforce housing is a national issue, not just a local one.

Unfortunately, cities and counties, because they don’t have resources are responding to this federal neglect by passing laws that make it illegal to be homeless.  I support the Right to Rest movement.  If you are too poor to have a home and no public option is available for shelter, sleeping in public should not be a crime.

I support community land trusts.  The commercial real estate market, with very little push back from local politicians, has shown they prefer to build for those who are wealthy.  Community land trusts work to maintain long term affordability for low and moderate income residents, small businesses and non-profit organizations.  This is only possible because property is permanently removed from the speculative market.

The Green Party platform on housing: http://www.gp.org/social_justice/#sjHousing

If elected, I will be a voice for restoring HUD funding!
Build low income and workforce housing!

Barry Hermanson

Barry@Barry4Congress.org