TheOur Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action is now underway. From May 1 to May 8, organizations and individuals across the country will host over 90 local events and activities in 27 states and Puerto Rico. The events will take many forms, including rallies, teach-ins, site visits, performance art, press conferences with local policymakers, call in days, letter writing campaigns, and much more! At all of these events and activities advocates and resident leaders will make the case for why Congress needs to increase investments for affordable housing.
Yesterday, three groups got this wave of advocacy started. NLIHC state partner the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance brought community members together to hear from powerful women leaders who are tackling issues of housing affordability and homelessness at the local, state, and federal levels. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, State Representative Nicole Macri, State Senator Rebecca Saldana, and Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda each spoke about their respective efforts to establish policies that ensure everyone has access to a safe, healthy, affordable home.
NLIHC state partner Texas Housers joined FIEL Houston and the University of Texas Law Professor Heather Way to launch a tenants rights movement in Houston through a tenants’ union, tenants’ center, and tenants’ advisory committee.
And the Montana Housing Coalition announced their legislative agenda, which includes calls for more federal resources for housing programs, at an advocacy event yesterday. Big thanks to advocates who joined this event in advance of Montana’s annual conference for housing providers and advocates.
Here are some of the Our Homes, Our Voices events taking place today, May 1:
Boston, MA: Representative Katherine Clark will join advocates and present on a panel discussion titled “Foundations for the Future: State and Federal Affordable Housing Programs.” The event will be hosted by Metro Housing Boston, Citizens’ Housing & Planning Association, Homes for Families, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, and New Lease for Homeless Families. Click here for more information.
Montpelier, VT: Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Peter Welch are expected to join advocates to kickoff of the French Block project in downtown Montpelier. The event is hosted by Downstreet Housing & Community Development and Housing Vermont.
Maryland: Homes for America will host voter registration events in 48 residential communities across Maryland.
Cambridge, MA: A "Voices of Affordable Housing" poster exhibit will be on display in the lobby of City Hall. The photos and testimonials convey the impact stable housing can provide to families and individuals. Click here for more information.
Saint Peters, MO: Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles County will host a “Thank-a-Thon” at their offices. Attendees will write and send postcards to their members of Congress and will participate in a social media photo campaign. Click here for more information.
Jersey City, NJ: St. Mary’s Residence will host an Open House event. St. Mary’s Residence has housed low income single women since 1902. The event will provide an opportunity for attendees to hear from residents about their experiences and about the importance of an affordable home.
Oregon: The Oregon Housing Alliance is organizing a “Selfie Day” social media effort for advocates throughout the state. Click here for more information.
Texas: A statewide postcard-writing event will be organized by Texas Housers.
West Palm Beach, FL: The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County is revamping their “Real Change Meters Program” and will organize volunteers around service to improve the program and strengthen its fundraising efforts.
Are you also hosting a week of action event? Tell us about it! Retweet and share images, including pictures of yourself and other advocates participating in your event(s) using #OurHomesOurVoices and @OurHomesOurVoices.
More tools, templates, and materials for events can be found at: https://www.ourhomes-ourvoices.org/resources.
Thanks, as always, for your partnership and advocacy. It’s never been more important!