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Housing advocates rally in Lansing to combat homelessness, housing instability

Tuesday, July 25, 2017  
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Every year, tens of thousands of Michiganders experience homelessness or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.  To help raise awareness during National Housing Week of Action July 22-29, five state organizations have partnered to organize a rally, “How Housing Changed My Life”, July 26, noon-1:30 p.m. on the state Capitol steps. 

Michigan could lose more than $222 million under the administration’s proposed HUD FY18 budget cuts, impacting up to 24,142 households per year.  Rally participants will share personal stories of about their journeys to secure housing and call for greater federal investments in affordable homes and communities. Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) will deliver remarks as well.

In 2015, lack of affordable homes left 70,000 Michigan residents homeless and 30,000 more at imminent risk of homelessness.  Many low income families that do not receive housing assistance are forced to live on the street, in shelters or in their cars, often with small children and unaccompanied youth. 

“Federally funded resources like Community Service Block Grants and Housing Choice Voucher help support low-income households,” says Michigan Community Action Executive Director Kate White.  “When people have affordable homes, they are better able to find and maintain employment, achieve economic mobility and stay in good health.”

Investing in affordable housing infrastructure creates jobs, boosts families' incomes and encourages community development.  Building 100 affordable rental homes generates $11.7 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments and 161 local jobs in the first year alone, according to a report by the National Association of Homebuilders.  In addition, stable homes give kids more opportunities to succeed and offer seniors opportunities to live with independence and dignity.

Organization members will also participate in a call in day to Congress Thursday, July 27.  The July 26 rally is co-sponsored by the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, National Association of Social Workers - Michigan, Habitat for Humanity of Michigan and Michigan Community Action.

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