I. Attention Device: Quote
“Do we believe housing is a right and that affordable housing is part of what it should mean to be an American? I say yes.” That is a direct quote made by award winning sociologist and author Matthew Desmond. I say yes also.
II. State Qualifications
I have worked in affordable housing for 17 years. I have licensing in affordable housing specifically in LIHTC and HUD. I have directly and indirectly managed several affordable housing properties all over the country.
III. Relate Topic to Audience
I was at work early in my career when I received a call from a very close family member. “Can you come pick me up? The police are here, and they are setting my stuff out and I am being evicted.” This family member had been struggling to pay rent as the rent had increased significantly. Imagine getting a call like that and having to take part in the humiliation and devastation of a close family member. In that moment my family member just became homeless.
IV. State Proposition (Thesis) & Preview Points
I want to present to you, my fellow Americans, that affordable housing is the answer to homelessness.
A. Preview Main Point I (Problem)
According to the Modern Wealth Survey conducted in May 2019 by Charles Schwab 59 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and are one paycheck away from losing their housing. (Modern Wealth Survey May 2019, Charles Schwab)
B. Preview Main Point II (Causes)
Homelessness is due to a lack of affordable housing caused by rising housing costs and cuts to funding for affordable housing.
C. Preview Main Point III (Solution and Call to Action)
More affordable housing needs to be developed. We need to petition our lawmakers toward this effort and become advocates for affordable housing.
A. According to the NLIHC Annual Report in 2021, subsidized housing has been disappearing at a rate of 10,000 units per year and Only 10 out of 100 homes are affordable and available to low-income renters in some cities . (NLIHC, 2021)
B. Evictions cause anywhere between 14 and 66 percent of new homelessness cases. A 2018 study by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that “Evictions, whether through formal court proceedings or other methods of involuntary displacement from housing, are a direct cause of homelessness—either immediately or after social safety networks are exhausted.” (NLCHP, 2018)
C. There’s at least a 7 million shortage of homes for low-income renters. (NLIHC, 2021)
Transition: SHOULD BE TYPED HERE
A. An article in The Journalist’s Resource from April 2021 states that the gap between income and housing costs is by far the main cause of homelessness in the United States. (The Journalist’s Resource, 2021)
B. Marybeth Shinn and Jill Khadduri identify another cause of homelessness in their book In the Midst of Plenty, to be Ronald Reagan’s cuts to the funding for affordable housing in the 1980s. (In the Midst of Plenty, 2020)
(Transition: No one wants to be homeless or for their loved ones to be homeless. Here is how we can prevent this:)
III. Solutions and Call to Action (Consists of 3 to 5 Specific Steps)
A. The first step is to find out who your local city council representatives and your state representatives and senators are.
B. Go to your local city council meetings to speak and advocate for more affordable housing. You can also write to your state representatives and senators to tell them you would like to see more affordable housing in your city.
C. Be sure to vote yes for any initiatives or candidates that support the development of more affordable housing.
I. Provide Closure (Review Main Points)
Today I have discussed:
A. Social problem of homelessness
B. Development of more affordable housing is the solution to homelessness.
C. Causes of homelessness are the lack of affordable housing and cuts to funding for affordable housing.
D. Call to Action: Finding out who your local and state lawmakers are is the first step to take to advocate for more affordable housing. The other steps are to go to your local city council meetings, write to your state lawmakers, and vote yes for affordable housing initiatives and supportive candidates.
II. Closing Thought (Clincher or Bow Tie)
The next time you see a homeless person, ask yourself if you resemble them. They could be your relative. Moreover, if we fail to develop an adequate amount of affordable housing, you could be looking in the mirror.