Did someone say road trip?

We have been on a bit of a hiatus, but we are back with lots of exciting news to share!

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The United for Homes campaign is going strong! 1,235 organizations have endorsed the campaign to fund the National Housing Trust Fund through modifications to the mortgage interest deduction… and if you aren’t one of them, you should click here. (Hint: this will take you to the endorsement form.) Some recent campaign achievements include:

  • The campaign has secured an endorser in 73% of congressional districts! Twenty-three states have even achieved, as we like to call it, “full coverage.” Few campaigns have gained support in every congressional district, but with our awesome advocates, we know we can.
  • The campaign also recently received its first mayoral endorsement from the Honorable David Coss, Mayor of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • And the most recent campaign news… Today is the start of the 1st United for Homes road trip!

That’s right – a road trip!
Over the next four days, NLIHC President Sheila Crowley and Outreach Associate Joe Lindstrom will be driving to eight events, covering every region of the state. Crowley will be speaking to local community members, housing professionals, and media about the United for Homes proposal to reform the mortgage interest deduction, and how the National Housing Trust Fund will benefit their communities.

Why Michigan?
We have excellent partners who made our job easier. Special thanks to everyone who is hosting an event: Salem Housing Community Development Corporation in Flint; Disability Network of Mid-Michigan in Midland; Housing Solutions Network in Traverse City; Reed City Housing Commission in Reed City; Disability Network Southwest Michigan and Open Doors Kalamazoo in Kalamazoo; Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness in Ann Arbor; the Alliance for Housing in Oakland County; and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations in Detroit.

Michigan really needs affordable housing. There is an undeniable need for the National Housing Trust Fund in Michigan communities. The state has a shortage of 234,068 rental homes that are affordable and available for extremely low income renters, and the National Housing Trust Fund would help address that shortage.

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And it doesn’t hurt that the districts we’re visiting have key representatives. Nine congressional offices have been invited to see us rally local advocates around the United for Homes campaign: Representative Dan Benishek, Representative Kerry Bentivolio, Representative Dave Camp, Representative John Conyers, Jr., Representative John Dingell, Representative Dan Kildee, Representative Sander Levin, Representative Gary Peters, and Representative Fred Upton.

The National Housing Trust Fund was authorized by Congress in 2008 but remains unfunded while the need for affordable housing for the lowest income households is at an all-time high. The road trip is just one of the many ways the United for Homes campaign has been working hard to push Congress to support funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.

So you want to plan a local event for the United for Homes campaign too? Here are a few tips from Joe, our Outreach Associate who got the whole road trip organized, on your first steps:

  1. Let us know! We are happy to send NLIHC staff to present, provide materials, and offer other support to make your event a success. Just email outreach@nlihc.org if you want to learn more about hosting a campaign event.
  2. Engage your entire community. Everyone cares about housing! We love to get our supporters fired up, but we still need to reach out and engage others to join our campaign.
  3. Invite your Members of Congress or their staff. Never let decision makers in DC forget that people back home care about affordable housing issues.
  4. Invite the press. Expand awareness of the campaign by getting news reports printed and broadcast.
  5. Connect federal policy to local issues. Always be prepared to bring the message back home by getting your community’s data and addressing local concerns.

If you think you are ready to take this on, give us a shout-out and we will help you with everything from press outreach to PowerPoint slides.

In the mean time, follow along this week’s inaugural road trip! We will be blogging, tweeting, and FB posting all week about the Michigan roadtrip, or #MIroadtrip. Be sure to follow @NLIHC, but also @sheilaatnlihc and @JosephLindstrom for their personal tweets while on the road. We’re hoping for some selfies.

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