Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley discussed her affordable housing agenda on Thursday (August 15, 2019) at The Link in Kendall Square.
In her statement, Rep. Pressley said that stable, safe and affordable housing is a fundamental human right. She believes that we need federal policies and spending to match our need. A survey by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition showed that a minimum wage worker needs to work at least eighty-four hours a week in order to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment at “fair market rent” in the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District.
She also points out that the housing shortage is not simply a matter of economics, but a question of public health. Disparities in the stability and quality of housing are inextricably linked to disparities in health outcomes. When it comes to public housing, she said that we can’t compromise on the dignity and privacy of residents simply because they do not have the means to live elsewhere. She is committed to working to address the housing crisis and proposes policy solutions informed by the lived experience of real people living right here in our district.
In the discussion, moderated by Beya Jimenez, an urban planning professional and writer in Boston, Rep. Pressley underscored the importance of addressing these issues collectively.
“This is a two-way dialogue,” said Rep. Pressley. “We need community and connectivity to cooperatively do this work and problem solving because these challenges that are all interconnected — transit, housing, jobs, and public health — they require a cooperative approach and regional solutions.”