Widespread Praise for Portman’s Bipartisan Eviction Crisis Act
An impressive collection of National and Ohio-based housing, civil rights, and homelessness groups announced their strong support for the Eviction Crisis Act - Senator Portman’s bipartisan legislation to address the national housing crisis that is undermining the efforts of millions of Americans to rise into the middle class. The bipartisan legislation will shed light on the root causes of the eviction crisis, reduce preventable evictions, and limit the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable.
Here’s what they are saying about Portman’s bipartisan evictions legislation:
“As an affordable housing organization that 6,600 people call home, we see the potentially destabilizing uncertainty that our residents face every day. Continually, our residents must make logical, yet life altering decisions, on whether they can pay the rent or repair their car so they can work, pay for necessary medical care or support their children. Emergency rental assistance is a simple, yet very powerful tool that can make the difference between preserving housing stability or creating a homeless situation. Not only can a small amount of assistance keep families stable, it can also reduce the overall cost of the support systems - the courts, health providers, schools and local governments - necessary to manage unfortunate homelessness. Homeport enthusiastically endorses The Eviction Crisis Act,” said Bruce Luecke, President & CEO of Homeport, Columbus, OH.
“The Coalition on Homelessness & Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) enthusiastically endorses the Eviction Crisis Act and the creation of the Emergency Assistance Fund designed to prevent unnecessary evictions. Evictions in many Ohio cities are hitting record levels as housing costs are growing increasingly out of reach, especially for those with the lowest incomes. We all now understand that evictions are not only the result of – but also a cause of – deeper poverty leading to increasing homelessness. This legislation has the promise of helping to reverse that tide. We appreciate the leadership of Senators Rob Portman and Michael Bennet working together to tackle this stubborn problem,” said Bill Faith, Executive Director of COHHIO and state partner of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign.
“YWCA Columbus is proud to support this much-needed bipartisan legislation being proposed to add significant resources to understanding and mitigating the eviction crisis plaguing communities and families across the country, including our own central Ohio community. We run one of two homeless family shelters in Columbus, and every day we see the end result of an uneven eviction process. In 2019, we served over 1500 individuals. Seventy-one percent of the adults at the Family Center were women. While African Americans make up nearly a quarter of the Columbus population, more than seventy percent of the residents served at the Family Center are African American. We are not surprised by these disparities because these same disparities are evident in the upstream factors that impact homelessness, including who experiences eviction: sixty-four percent of Franklin County evictions involved African Americans (Franklin County Community Mediation Services, March 2018). We are proud to have worked alongside community partners and public officials to begin addressing this crisis locally. The resources proposed in this legislation would provide much needed assistance to ensure that we can keep more families housed, with dignity, creating a stronger community in the process,” said Christie Angel, President & CEO, YWCA Columbus.
“Many Dayton area renters are living month to month on the income they earn. One small financial crisis can make it so they are unable to pay their rent or other critical expenses, creating a downward spiral of eviction and sometimes even homelessness. Finding better ways to keep people in safe, decent housing is the best thing for both them and our community,” said Tim Bete, President of St. Mary Development Corporation.
“We know from experience that a family or individual being evicted can be the catalyst for even greater problems for that household — poor school performance, job loss, addiction, homelessness and other issues. Developing a fund to prevent struggling families from being evicted is not only a sensible way to avoid creating additional crises in our communities, it is also the right thing to do for people who need help,” said Ruthann House, President/CEO of Great Lakes Community Action Partnership.
“I applaud Senators Michael Bennet and Rob Portman for their leadership in introducing legislation to create new, permanent tools to help end America’s ongoing eviction epidemic, which most severely impacts the lowest-income and most marginalized households. If enacted, the Eviction Crisis Act would create a new Emergency Assistance Program – a policy solution developed and advanced by NLIHC’s Opportunity Starts at Home campaign – to extend an emergency cushion to families in crisis. Together with the legislation’s new data collection and outreach initiatives, the bill would help low-income renters avert the downward spiral of housing instability and homelessness. I urge Congress to quickly pass this bill,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“Improving housing stability is not just about keeping people in their homes, but it’s also about providing them with the foundation they need for success in many other areas of life. Stable, affordable homes are linked with better educational outcomes, better health outcomes across the lifespan, greater food security, upward economic mobility, and reduced costs to the taxpayer,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign.
“The Emergency Assistance Fund will not only keep families stable in their homes, but will also promote health. For many of my patients’ families, a housing crisis that threatens their health and wellbeing is one missed paycheck or one unexpected expense away. This bill is an innovative solution for ensuring that families are protected from economic shocks and that children and their families are able to remain healthy in their homes,” said Dr. Megan Sandel, Co-Lead Principal Investigator for Children’s HealthWatch and pediatrician at Boston Medical Center.
“Every day, people become homeless who not long ago had a stable home, but whose lives and housing were disrupted by an economic crisis that a small amount of money could have fixed. Thanks to Senators Bennet and Portman for this legislation that would make such help available, preventing housing instability and homelessness and improving the lives of struggling Americans,” said Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
“On behalf of the members of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the nation’s largest professional social work organization, I want to offer my full support for the passage of the Eviction Crisis Act. I also thank Senators Bennet and Portman for joining in a bipartisan collaboration to address one of the country’s most important social problems. Social workers, as direct providers of services to indigent and low-income families, are all too aware of how financial distress can create a housing crisis which often leads to homelessness. The Emergency Assistance Fund will help state and local governments to develop innovative programs that will lead to housing stability for low-income families. You can be assured that NASW will join with other Opportunities Start at Home partners to help get this bill passed,” said Dr. Angelo McClain, CEO of the National Association of Social Workers.
“America’s cities, towns, and villages are on the front lines of the affordable housing crisis, and local leaders are eager to support bold solutions like the Eviction Crisis Act of 2021. This legislation would give local governments an opportunity to address a host of social and economic challenges at the root level, including by providing resources to mitigate housing instability and limit costly evictions. The National League of Cities commends Senators Bennet and Portman for introducing this bill; and for their ongoing bipartisan leadership, which is so sorely needed today,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities.
“The National Education Association applauds Senators Bennet and Portman for their reintroduction of the Eviction Crisis Act. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how essential housing is - especially for our students. This bill assists families facing desperate circumstances and will provide students with stable homes as we look to rebuild our communities,” said Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations, National Education Association.
“Eviction from one’s home is a horrible trauma – from the decimation of a family’s shelter to the destruction of its financial security. The NAACP salutes and supports the efforts of Senators Bennet and Portman to thoughtfully and effectively address this serious, and sadly continuing problem. The provisions of this legislation which create an Emergency Assistance Fund to help extremely low-income American families facing eviction is an incredibly important tool in our arsenal to fight the scourge of homelessness. The Emergency Assistance Fund, as envisioned by this legislation, is perhaps one of the best examples of a ‘safety net’ that I can think of that the government can, and should, pursue for all Americans during the hardest economic times in their lives,” said Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, households around the nation have experienced unprecedented threats to not only their health, but also to their food, housing, and economic security – with harms disproportionately affecting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of color. The Emergency Assistance Fund is a smart investment in our nation’s families. The Fund will not only keep a family housed, but also increase a family’s food security by stabilizing the situation and avoiding the multiple harms to nutrition, health, and well-being emanating from an eviction and hunger,” said Luis Guardia, President of the Food Research & Action Center.
“Eviction isn’t just a consequence of poverty; it’s a cause of poverty. Yet we allow millions of Americans to face the threat of eviction each year. Families with children are at particularly high risk of eviction. Many evicted families lose their home and possessions, often falling into homelessness. Research shows that eviction thwarts economic mobility and is linked to long-term negative health outcomes. Passing the Eviction Crisis Act would be a big step forward, deepening our understanding of the problem and preventing families from the devastating consequences of displacement. Everyone needs a safe and affordable home. I commend Senators Bennet and Portman for their efforts and look forward to working with them to pass this bill into law,” said Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.
“I applaud Senators Michael Bennet and Rob Portman for their leadership in introducing legislation to create new tools to help end America’s ongoing eviction epidemic, which most severely impacts the lowest-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other individuals. If enacted, the “Eviction Crisis Act” would create a new Emergency Housing Assistance Fund – a policy solution developed and advanced by NLIHC’s Opportunity Starts at Home campaign – to extend an emergency cushion to families in crisis. Together [with the legislation’s new data collection and outreach initiatives], the bill would help low-income renters avert the downward spiral of housing instability and homelessness. I urge Congress to quickly pass this bill,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“The Eviction Crisis Act is an historic response our country’s eviction epidemic. Through comprehensive data collection and emergency rental assistance, the bill will combat the devastating impacts of evictions on families and children and create a foundation for more effective prevention in the future. We are grateful to Senators Bennet and Portman for addressing this crucial area of U.S. housing policy and working to save families from eviction and homelessness,” said Shamus Roller, Executive Director, National Housing Law Project.
The following national organizations have endorsed the Eviction Crisis Act: Pultizer Prize recipient Matt Desmond, NAACP, National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC); Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign; National Alliance to End Homelessness; Children’s HealthWatch; NAACP; COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project; National Association of Social Workers; National Education Association; National League of Cities; Food Research & Action Center.
The following Ohio organizations have endorsed the Eviction Crisis Act: The Affordable Housing Trust (Columbus), YWCA Columbus, Access Center for Independent Living (Dayton), Ecumenical Shelter Network of Lake County, Inc. (Painesville), Barbara Poppe and Associates (Columbus), Phase One Recovery for Women (Cleveland), Cincinnati Development Fund, Ohio Domestic Violence Network (Columbus), Columbus Works, LISC (Cincinnati), OHIO Capital Corporation for Housing (Columbus), Clermont County Community Services (Batavia), Ohio Conference of Community Development (Urbana), St. Mary Development Corp. (Dayton), Community Shelter Board (Columbus), Ohio Fair Lending (Cleveland), Homeport (Columbus), Ohio CDC Association (Columbus), Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (Fremont), Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (Hamilton), Caracole (Cincinnati), Ohio Poverty Law Center (Columbus), Kaleidoscope Youth Center (Columbus), Strategic Opportunities (Bexley), Bethany House Services (Cincinnati), Caring Kitchen (Urbana), Daybreak, Inc. (Dayton), and the Nord Center (Lorain).