Every year, the affordable housing crisis gets worse. The reality is that it’s much harder to raise a family on one or two incomes now than it was 30 years ago. Just look at Nashville, where decades of gentrification displaced our neighbors and friends, pushing them out of the communities they’ve spent their whole lives in. It’s time to break the cycle of politicians doing the work of real estate developers who exploit foreclosures and gentrify our neighborhoods, and then pump their profits into buying off politicians with campaign contributions.
Housing is a human right. More than a year into the pandemic, thousands of people in Nashville are struggling to pay rent. In an already heavily-gentrified city, we’re facing another foreclosure crisis as a direct result of the pandemic. Housing plays a critical role in determining our social mobility, access to education, economic opportunity, and health outcomes, but as home prices and rents skyrocket and wages remain stagnant, low-income families have fallen further behind.
We must invest in public housing and ensure that everyone has a guaranteed home. We need multi-bedroom affordable housing that accommodates families who are planting roots in this community. The fight against homelessness also means ensuring tenants’ right to organize and protections against unjust eviction, providing federal funding to Tennessee to provide necessary services to the unhoused population, and investing in thousands of low-income housing to house the homeless. That’s why I support a #HomesGuarantee. As we think about expanding affordable housing, we must also invest in green space, public transit, and access to health care, quality education, and healthy food to ensure these neighborhoods are set up to thrive.