QC Housing Advocates Press Conference Notes National Housing Week of Action

Sheila

Having survived homelessness, speaker Sheila Parker-Wilson led the group in the chant “We need the keys” as she held a model home key.

press conference

Concerned housing advocates speak at press conference

Today, housing advocates for low-income people in the Quad Cities held a press conference to bring more attention to the affordable housing crisis in the community during the 2nd annual Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action.

The Shelter and Transitional Housing Council of the Quad Cities (STHC), a coalition of many local nonprofit groups, convened the media to announce their new Lunch and Launch series entitled “Quad Cities Housing Solutions.” The series will bring together local stakeholders in the housing situation to generate solutions.

During the week of May 1-8, advocates from across the country are coordinating activities to raise awareness around the need for greater federal investments in affordable homes and community development. Local advocates across the Quad Cities STHC insist that all people deserve an affordable home. No one should be forced to give up food and basic healthcare to keep a roof over their heads.

Speaking to this today were representatives from local nonprofits, public schools and a formerly-homeless mother. The event occurred Sister Concetta Park at 11 AM.

In Davenport and across the nation, far too many families– including low income seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and families with children – struggle to keep a roof over their heads or are experiencing homelessness. More families are renting their homes than ever before, and our nation’s investments in affordable housing have not kept pace. As a result, rents are increasing everywhere. But, because of underfunding, three out of every four families in need of housing benefits are turned away.

More than one out of five Scott County families spend more than half of their monthly income on rent. The acceptable standard is to spend no more than a third of monthly income for housing. The local housing reality is that our neighbors are truly one illness or accident away from being evicted for inability to pay their rent. This forces them into homelessness.

Need for National Housing Week of Action

Jasmine Campbell, John De Taeye

Jasmine Campbell of Family Resources, John De Taeye of Humility of Mary Shelter and Housing

Last year, advocates and Congressional champions secured a 10% increase to federal investments in affordable housing. But threats remain. A proposed federal budget will slash affordable housing by $11 billion compared to current levels. This would increase homelessness and housing poverty in our community.

John De Taeye, Development Director for Humility of Mary Housing and Shelter and  MC of the event summarized the message:

“Instead of reducing our nation’s investments in affordable housing, we need to make a bold and sustained commitment to ensure that everyone has a safe, accessible and affordable home. Because when we invest in affordable homes, we invest in people, our communities, and America as a whole – from increased employment and economic mobility to improved health and better education.”

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