With the cost of housing far outstripping wages, millions of Americans face homelessness each year, and millions more live in tenuous or unstable housing situations. All Americans need access to affordable housing, defined by legal security of tenure, habitability, accessibility, location, cultural adequacy, and provision of any needed services. But right now, over 7 million households in the U.S. lack access to affordable housing; of this number some are forced to live in public places. At the same time, many communities have enacted or are enforcing laws that make living in public a crime. This is potentially unconstitutional, wastes precious public funds, and makes it harder for people to exit homelessness by saddling them with criminal records.
To this end, the Housing Not Handcuffs campaign presents model policies for the local, state, and federal levels to break this vicious cycle and shift law and policy away from this misuse of the criminal justice system to address homelessness and towards true solutions.
What types of proposals are included in the model policies?
Access the models here: