Our housing system is broken. That’s why I’ve been on the ground doing community organizing, including occupying empty buildings to get more housing for homeless people in Tacoma. In Aberdeen (population: 16,000), 1,000 people are homeless
In our district’s majority-minority neighborhoods, such as the Hilltop in Tacoma, people of color and the poor are being driven out by gentrification. Task forces have been convened and politicians have wrung their hands, but precious little has been done to stem the tide of long-time Hilltop residents leaving their homes. We must act decisively to protect our neighborhoods and their rich cultural heritage.
In Congress, I will fight for:
- Universal rent control nationwide, so landlords and developers can’t raise rents at unreasonable, life-threatening rates.
- Just cause for eviction, so tenants’ stability — and sometimes our very lives — can’t be threatened by the whims of a landlord.
- National grace period of 14 days for payment of rent, so being as little as $100 short on rent doesn’t jump start someone into homelessness. It’s much easier to keep someone out of homelessness than to get them out of it.
- Declaration of housing as a human right.
- Massive investment in public housing and anti-gentrification community land trusts, so housing always stays affordable and community-controlled.
- An end to often-racist and always-exclusionary single-family zoning by providing federal funding incentives to towns, cities, and counties that enact pro-density zoning.
- Severe financial penalties for municipalities that criminalize the existence of homeless people, e.g., laws against loitering, sleeping in cars and parks when the shelters are full, and feeding the homeless. We must end the war on the poor.