Housing is not an option. People need shelter.
The United States is in the middle of a decades-long affordable housing crisis, which is pushing people out of their homes and neighborhoods. Almost 20 million Americans spend over half their income on housing while over 500,000 Americans are experiencing homelessness. Speculators drive up costs at rates that far outpace income growth, in the process pushing renters and homeowners out of their chosen neighborhoods.
We must reform federal housing and financial policy to protect our homes and neighborhoods, and to ensure that we are meeting the needs of local communities instead of the profit expectations of investors. We must address the legacy of racial discrimination in housing by prioritizing distressed frontline communities with a reparative framework. And our housing policy must address the climate crisis by making existing public and municipal housing more sustainable while we build millions of new, environmentally-sound public housing units. In his professional career, Mike has taken on slum landlords and fought to protect low-income renters. As a city attorney in Texas, Mike successfully sued apartment complex owners who refused to maintain good quality housing, in the process achieving long-term affordable housing guarantees for hundreds of families. He also sued the Texas Governor to stand up for renters who use housing vouchers, challenging the de facto housing discrimination that still divides our cities and determines who has opportunity, and who does not.
As your representative, Mike will fight for housing for all, and will support policy initiatives like the following:
- Enact a Homes Guarantee to build 10 million affordable housing units in 10 years
- Further confront homelessness through the Housing First initiative, funding for permanent supportive housing, and H.R. 1856, the “Ending Homelessness Act of 2019”
- Protect tenants through rent control, just cause eviction policies, the right to appointed counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction, and enacting H.R. 5072, “A Place to Prosper Act”
- Confront discrimination in housing by ending exclusionary zoning practices, outlawing discrimination against renters using housing vouchers, and increasing civil rights enforcement and oversight
- Expand the availability of public housing vouchers
- Repair and modernize public housing and repeal the Faircloth Amendment, which effectively bans construction of any new public housing
- Enact a House Flipping Tax and a Vacant Property Tax to curb speculation and financialization