FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2023
Contact: Edie Irons, [email protected], 510-334-1344
On June 5, 2023, All Home CEO and Founder Tomiquia Moss released the following statement.
“All Americans—regardless of their age, race, gender identity, or circumstance—deserve a safe and affordable place to live and the ability to meet their basic needs. Our nation has the resources to make that a reality, if and when we choose to do so. Instead, this debt ceiling agreement comes at the expense of low-income Americans.
“During the pandemic, Congress took bold action to help millions of Americans pay rent and avoid eviction and homelessness. They expanded benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Child Tax Credit; this alone lifted 3.7 million children out of poverty. While the final agreement is an improvement over House Republicans’ initial proposal, politicians from both parties managed to agree on shortchanging programs that are a lifeline for Americans who are barely scraping by.
“The debt ceiling agreement will likely reduce vital food assistance and housing support for more than 100,000 Californians. The expanded work requirements and spending freezes will exacerbate the cycle of poverty, forcing families to make impossible choices between housing, food, healthcare, and other basic needs.
- Expanding the SNAP work reporting requirements to older adults would result in an estimated 118,000 Californians losing food assistance. Research consistently shows that work requirements don’t increase employment or earnings; instead they strip people of needed assistance and push them deeper into poverty.
- Changes to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program also expands failed work requirements and will restrict access to essential cash support for struggling families. At a time when California is pursuing long overdue improvements to CalWORKs (the state TANF program), making it more flexible and supportive of families’ economic mobility, these changes threaten those efforts and generally undermine our work to solve homelessness.
- Spending caps on federal domestic programs could have dire impacts on rental assistance and other key housing programs. Because these programs need additional funding each year to keep up with inflation and interest rates, capping FY 2024 spending at FY 2023 levels and limiting spending to a 1% increase in FY 2025 functions as a significant cut. Thousands of Californians are at risk of losing housing assistance, even as housing costs continue to rise in our state.
“Poor families shouldn’t be a bargaining chip in political negotiations. These cuts will be felt deeply by the people they impact, but their impact on the federal budget is relatively weak. Savings could have been found elsewhere in the budget that don’t put people’s lives and wellbeing at risk. All Home and partners across the state and country will fight together to mitigate the impact of these changes, as we continue working to create more housing and economic opportunity for Americans with the lowest incomes.”
Data on impacts of SNAP changes on Californians are from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Data on changes to HUD and housing programs are from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.