Ron: “In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no child should be without a home"
In recent meetings with Oregonians who have experienced homelessness and with advocates for affordable housing, Ron outlined his upcoming legislation that aims to ensure no child is homeless.
His DASH Act -- which stands for Decent, Affordable and Safe Housing for All – comes in the wake of a recent report from the National Center for Homeless Education found that 1.5 million public school students in the United States experienced homelessness.
As the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron added that many steps are required along with the DASH Act to remodel America’s housing policy, including the expansion of the proven low-income housing tax credit; enforcement of fair housing laws; and more.
But the DASH Act under development, he said, is a must to target resources toward ending homelessness for children. The legislation would provide $1 billion a year to state housing authorities based on the highest need.
Those state housing authorities would then have the flexibility to determine the best ways in their states to provide long-term supportive housing for children and families. With that flexibility would come accountability -- namely that future funding would be based on states’ demonstrated progress towards housing children and families.
Beyond the staggering statistics of homelessness, Ron added that behind each of those numbers is a painful saga of a child shivering under a highway overpass, curling up in their family’s car, sleeping on the cold cement of city streets or freezing in a tent in the woods.
Imagine how hard, he said, it must be for those children to stay healthy, learn in school, and grow into adults with a future.
“The lack of adequate shelter for these kids is really snatching a lot of their potential that they could have for the years ahead,” he said. “This is an urgent crisis that requires an urgent blueprint to respond.”