There is not a corner of the Commonwealth untouched by our housing crisis. Joe believes that housing is a fundamental human right for all Americans and that few issues are more critical to our restoration of true social and economic justice. Skyrocketing housing costs, inequitable development, and persistent structural inequities are putting safe, healthy, and affordable homes out of reach for too many in Massachusetts. These challenges prevent families – especially families of color – from achieving homeownership. Meanwhile, rising rents are displacing families from their homes and gentrifying our communities. The people who power our economy are being forced to live farther and farther away from their jobs, left to rely on inadequate transportation and crumbling infrastructure. All of this has left our lowest-income residents struggling to find even basic shelter. Our government has not done enough to address these serious housing challenges.
To solve the affordable housing crisis, Joe has pushed the federal government to step up its investments into affordable housing programs that serve lower-income families, including expanding the Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program. He supports targeting these investments to help the communities that need them most, including communities of color, rural communities, and tribal communities. To bring down rents and housing costs across the market and to create new job opportunities, Joe supports policies that will help build more housing, including more permanently affordable housing.
Joe believes we must be deliberate about taking on historic racial discrimination in our housing systems, supporting policies to offer grants to first-time homebuyers who live in formerly redlined and segregated neighborhoods. He supports policies to address state and local zoning rules that drive up the cost of construction, limit the opportunity to build new homes, and prevent families from living in the communities of their choice. He advocates for prohibiting all forms of housing discrimination, by strengthening and fully enforcing our fair housing laws.
To take on the epidemic of homelessness, Joe believes we must invest more in public and affordable housing and stop treating homelessness as a crime. We must ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive the resources and services they need, rather than being forced into our criminal justice system. Joe has fought in Congress to guarantee equal access to shelters, preventing shelters from denying services to transgender or gender non-conforming people. For those facing eviction, Joe has been a tireless advocate for a right to legal counsel and other crucial services that help prevent homelessness.