Washington, D.C. — Today, five mayors spoke at the Center for American Progress about their cities’ strategies for making housing affordable and combating homelessness. This conversation comes as the Trump administration exacerbates the housing crisis by rolling back fair housing protections and failing to invest in affordable housing at the levels that are desperately needed. In this context, cities have become innovation labs for confronting the housing crisis and addressing homelessness. Here are a few steps that the mayors of San Francisco; Philadelphia; Oakland, California; Gary, Indiana; and Sacramento, California are taking to address this dual crisis in their cities:
“San Francisco and cities across the country are stepping up to create more affordable housing; fund mental health and addiction programs; and help our homeless neighbors get the care and shelter they need, but these issues affect all of us,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “We need federal resources and the continued support of the business community to resource the housing and homelessness programs that will address these issues and make a difference in our cities and in our country.”
“We’ve made big strides in Philadelphia to increase access to affordable housing and reduce street homelessness,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “However, our progress on these challenges has been made much more difficult without adequate investment from the federal government. I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow mayors so that we can work together to improve the quality of life in our cities despite the federal government’s lack of leadership.”
“Each of our cities are grappling with a homelessness crisis that threatens all Californians,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Our bipartisan coalition of mayors understands best the challenges our unsheltered residents face, and we’re united to address this crisis now. We demand a substantial investment from the federal government—one that acknowledges the severity of the growing affordability inequalities. The trickle-down impact of the federal government’s divestment in affordable housing threatens the economic potential of the entire nation.”
“For far too many people across the country, the basic necessity of quality housing at an affordable cost is not being met. Thankfully, local officials are stepping up and taking action,” said Gary Mayor and National League of Cities President Karen Freeman-Wilson. “In Gary, we’re addressing our problem with vacant and abandoned houses through a strategy that includes leveraging data to identify demolition targets and areas for reinvestment; using local, state, and federal funds to tear down crumbling structures; and creating innovative public-private real estate partnerships to attract developers.”
“Homelessness has reached crisis levels in California, but major city mayors are leading the charge to end it, working together on comprehensive strategies to get people back home—but we can’t do it alone,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who chairs the California Big City Mayors coalition. “Open the government now so that we can continue making progress to house thousands of people who need and deserve it.”
The event was recorded, and an archived version of the live stream can be viewed here later today.
- “Homes for All: A Program Providing Rental Supply Where Working Families Need It Most” by Michela Zonta
- “Home is Where the Health Is: How Cities and States Can Address the Affordable Housing Crisis” by Rejane Frederick
- “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on LGBTQ Youth Experiencing Homelessness” by Shabab Ahmed Mizra and Kellan Baker
- “Advancing LGBTO Equality Through Local Executive Action” by Laura E. Durso, Caitlin Rooney, Sharita Gruberg, Sejal Singh, Shabab Ahmed Mirza, Frank J. Bewkes, Aaron Ridings, and Daniel Clark
- “Lack of Housing and Mental Health Disabilities Exacerbate Each Other” by Heidi Schultheis
- “The Latest HUD Proposal Would Exacerbate the Housing Insecurity Crisis” by Heidi Schultheis, Michela Zonta, and Rejane Frederick
- “Systematic Inequality: How America’s Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap” by Angela Hanks, Danyelle Solomon, and Christian E. Weller
- “D.C.’s High Housing Costs Pushed Me In and Out of Homelessness for 30 Years” by Waldon Adams
For more information or to speak to an expert, contact gro.ssergorpnacirema@kcisucj or 202-495-3682.