WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Housing costs are replacing gas prices as the biggest problem facing millions of Americans.
Advocates are calling on President Joe Biden to sign an executive order that would tie yearly rent increases to inflation. This comes after the Federal Reserve further increased interest rates last week.
“It’s hard, and it’s my life,” said Valiera Brooks-Davis, a renter from Kansas City, Mo. “It’s just getting ridiculous. Corporations are getting rich while we’re being pushed out of our homes, homeless.”
“We’re gonna make sure they know we exist,” said Roslyn Gadley, a renter from Alexandria, Va. “And for me, I don’t want to be ran out of my community. I’m planning to stay.”
Brooks-Davis and Gadley joined hundreds of other tenant rights advocates in Washington, D.C. this week to urge President Biden to sign their draft executive order that would force landlords, particularly corporations and private equity firms, to hold the line on rent increases. The proposal would cap annual rent increases at 3% or 1.5 times the rate of inflation, whichever is lower, and also apply the rule to government-backed mortgages.
“We’re challenging them on every level,” Gadley said.
The White House met with members from the Homes Guarantee Campaign Monday on tenant protections and rental affordability issues.
The coalition of tenant unions, community organizations and legal groups then hosted a congressional briefing Thursday with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-MO, U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia, D-IL, and U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-NY.
“Renters deserve access to safe and affordable homes that allow them to remain stable,” Bush said. “It’s not enough just to have housing. You need to have stable housing. You need to not worry about tomorrow.”
On the House floor Thursday, U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-MA, pushed for reforms in the next Congress.
“We must recommit ourselves to making housing more affordable for working families,” Auchincloss said.
Homes Guarantee also wants the Biden administration to secure legal help for renters in eviction proceedings