With more than 25 million Americans facing housing insecurity each year, Make Room Inc. announced today a bipartisan congressional effort designating September 2017 as “National Month for Renters.”
Joined at the press conference by resolution sponsors including Congressman Bruce Poliquin, Make Room shed light on the eleven million households nationwide that spend more than half of their income just on rent, while making sacrifices such as forgoing food, healthcare, and other necessities.
“Make Room is extremely grateful to have bipartisan support for ‘National Month for Renters’ to shine a spotlight on the critical issue of struggling renters and affordable housing in America,” said Ali Solis, Make Room Inc., President and CEO. “Our goal is to spread awareness and humanize this issue, reinforce the importance of placing affordable rental housing on the national agenda, and advocate for bold solutions that will end housing insecurity.”
House resolution 475, cosponsored by Reps. Poliquin and Denny Heck (D-WA), was introduced in the House of Representatives on July 25, 2017. The Senate version is being introduced this week.
“Tens of thousands of Maine families spend more than half of their income just to pay rent,” said Congressman Poliquin. “With an especially elderly population of renters in our state who are retired or close to retirement and without a regularly paying stream of income, it’s more important now than ever before for policies to be put in place to help those who rent and who are facing ever-increasing costs. I am very pleased to be joining a bipartisan group in both the House and the Senate to bring this issue to the forefront so we can work toward solutions for those who are facing steeper costs for renting their homes.”
Rising country music star Kane Brown, who recently partnered with Make Room on a national campaign, spoke at the press conference and participated in a Congressional briefing with families impacted by the current rental housing crisis.
“When I was younger, my mom and I lived in a car because we didn’t have anywhere to go. After graduating from high school, even though I was working, I didn’t have enough money to pay rent so I stayed with my Nana,” Kane Brown revealed. “I’m proud to partner with Make Room to help other people who have been in similar housing situations. I just want people to know that they can make it through hard times like I did.”
A key part of Make Room’s mission is telling the personal stories of America’s struggling renters, including through videos that appear on the Make Room website.