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homes guarantee
By The Skanner News
Published: 19 December 2019

Detroit -- Today, ahead of the sixth Democratic debate, 21 candidates for statewide and local office endorsed the Homes Guarantee plan that supporters say would guarantee safe, accessible, and sustainable homes for all. The Homes Guarantee was released in September amidst brewing grassroots activity around the affordable housing crisis -- yet to date, only seven minutes of total time for all five Democratic debates have been dedicated to talking about housing.

maurice bp weeks co executive director action center on race economy introMaurice BP-Weeks is the Co-Executive Director of ACRE. He works with community organizations and labor unions on campaigns to go on offense against Wall Street to beat back their destruction of communities of color. (photo courtesy ACRE) “Housing should not be a commodity -- full stop,” said Maurice BP-Weeks, Co-Executive Director of Action Center on Race and the Economy. “Frankly, it’s disgusting that anyone can make billions of dollars from luxury apartment buildings full of empty units while so many people are sleeping on the streets or struggling to pay their rent -- and it’s a lie that we can’t afford to provide every single person living in the United States with a safe, sustainable, accessible, and affordable place to live.”

“We have the chance to put housing in the hands of the people, protect tenants, and start to address the harm caused by hundreds of years of racist housing policy,” said Tara Raghuveer, Housing Campaign Director at People’s Action and Director of the KC Tenants. “We crunched the numbers and we have the plan. Now, all we need is the political courage to put it into practice -- and we’re looking for all of the Democratic candidates to address the housing crisis tonight.”

The following candidates endorsed the Homes Guarantee platform:

  • Nithya Raman, candidate for LA City Council District 4
  • Jamaal Bowman, candidate for NY 16
  • Anthony Clark, candidate for IL 07
  • Melquiades Gagarin, candidate for NY 06
  • Heidi Sloan, candidate for TX 25
  • Isiah James, candidate for NY 09
  • Michelle Mullet, candidate for MA State Rep
  • Peter Harrison, candidate for NY 12
  • Lauren Ashcraft, candidate for NY 12
  • Ben Ewen-Campen, candidate for Somerville City Councilor
  • Nikil Saval, candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Morgan Harper, candidate for OH 03
  • Shaniyat Chowdhury, candidate for NY 05
  • Adem Bunkeddeko, candidate for NY 09
  • Mckayla Wilkes, candidate for MD 05
  • Tomas Ramos, candidate for NY 15
  • Tanner Sunderman, candidate for MN State House
  • Ihssane Leckey, candidate for MA 04
  • Will Mbah, candidate for Somerville City Councilor
  • Samelys Lopez, candidate for NY 15
  • Andom Ghebreghiorgis, candidate for NY 16

On Twitter, prominent activist accounts such as @AdyBarkan, @_pamcampos, @shawnsebastian, @alexisgoldstein, @jljacobson, @rafaelshimunov, @MsPeoples, @acrecampaigns, @PplsAction, @CVHaction, @DataProgress, @policylink, @democracycollab, @TheNextSystem and more tweeted their support of the platform and called on the DNC to make sure to focus the conversation on housing. Twitter activity can be followed using #HomesGuarantee and #DemDebate.

In addition to the federal policy, a number of organizers in states including Michigan, New York, Illinois, Arizona and Oklahoma are starting to push for statewide versions of the platform.

If put into place, supporters of the Homes Guarantee program say it would nationally: 

  • Build 12 million social housing units and eradicate homelessness
  • Reinvest in existing public housing
  • Protect renters and bank tenants
  • Pay reparations for centuries of racist housing policies
  • End land and real estate speculation and de-commodify housing

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