From Oakland to Miami, renters contribute billions to local economies, represent the majority of residents in the nation’s 100 largest cities, and are a growing share of the population nationwide. However, rising rents and stagnant wages have translated into an unprecedented affordable housing crisis that hinders the ability of renters to thrive. Today’s update shares how you can join the upcoming Renter Week of Action and additional work we are doing with partners to advance racial inclusion and equitable growth across the country.
Get ready for #RenterWeekofAction
During the week of September 16-24, the Homes for All campaign is calling for renters and everyone who believes housing is a human right to fight for a world where all people have dignified and affordable housing. In support of the Renter Week of Action, our data team analyzed the impact of the growing affordability crisis in the U.S. and in 38 cities. Nationally, if renters paid only what was affordable for housing, they would have $124 billion extra to spend in the community every year, or $6,200 per rent-burdened household. These fact sheets will be used by renters in over 45 cities to educate policymakers about the need to strengthen renter rights and protections, ensure full funding for HUD, and increase community control of land and housing. Click here to learn how you can participate.
Register for the 9/14 Equitable Economic Development Fellowship Webinar
Led by the National League of Cities in partnership with PolicyLink, and the Urban Land Institute, the Equitable Economic Development Fellowship helps economic development leaders shift from costly business attraction “deals” to a more comprehensive approach that strengthens their economies through greater economic opportunity, participation, and ownership. On Thursday 9/14 at 4:00 pm E.T. / 1:00 pm P.T., learn more about the fellowship and hear insights from fellows from Boston, Charlotte, and Minneapolis implementing new business development and workforce strategies to foster equitable growth. Register here.
U.S. Conference of Mayors Advocates for Equitable Communities
The All-In Cities team had the opportunity to advise the U.S. Conference of Mayors, now led by Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, on their Mayors Agenda for the Future. We were pleased to see its focus on equity and priorities such as local hiring, investing in long-term high-poverty neighborhoods, living wages and paid sick days, fully funding HUD and CDBG, and more. Building on this partnership, PolicyLink CEO Angela Glover Blackwell addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors during their summer meeting in New Orleans, and discussed the importance of equitable development to their cities’ futures. Read her reflections following the meeting here.
Equity Informing Oakland’s Downtown Plan
Last year, advocates in Oakland successfully convinced the City to ensure an equity lens guides the planning process for revitalizing Downtown Oakland. Recently the Equity Strategy Team (which includes PolicyLink) held four meetings to re-engage community members and include new voices. Participants reviewed technical data and community input, and discussed collective vision, goals, and desired outcomes in the areas of housing, jobs, arts & culture, transportation, and sustainability. So far, the equity reset for the effort has led to many more residents and advocates informing the plan, and is outlining a new process for how the city can embed equity into all planning efforts.
Bridging the Racial Generation Gap is Key to Prosperity
Equitable school funding is critical to ensure all youth can access a quality education and thrive in today’s knowledge economy, but research shows that the growing demographic divide between a diverse young generation and predominantly-White elder population is weakening investment in public schools. For each percentage point increase in the racial generation gap there is a 1.5 percent decrease in per-child education spending, according to new research from the National Equity Atlas team. As Angela Glover Blackwell and Manuel Pastor explain in an op-ed published in The Hill, bridging this divide is essential for the future of the American economy.