Non-profit

Homes Guarantee

Website:

homesguarantee.com/

Location:

Chicago, IL

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Project of:

People’s Action

Type:

Housing project

Budget (2018): [23]

Revenue: $2,569,259

Expenses: $3,108,671

Assets: $1,414,939

Homes Guarantee is a left-of-center policy project that aims to fundamentally change the U.S. housing system by establishing a massive federal entitlement to housing tantamount to a complete government takeover of the housing market. [1]

It was first introduced and is a project by People’s Action, a 501(c)(4) lobbying arm of People’s Action Institute, a consortium of left-wing community organizing groups spanning 30 states. [2]

Homes Guarantee Plan

In September 2019, People’s Action, with the assistance of Peter Gowan, a policy associate with the socialist-leaning Democracy Collaborative, generated a report outlining plan of action and recommendations to relieve homelessness and increase government ownership of housing. [3] It was created by a group of over 100 left-progressive activists in the People’s Action network, who spent roughly 14 months creating the policy recommendations. [4] The participants drew from their personal experiences of housing insecurity in order to generate the plan. [5]

The Homes Guarantee plan would provide 12 million new government-owned housing units over 10 years, reinvest $150 in existing public housing over five years, protect renters and bank tenants by establishing a “National Tenants’ Bill of Rights,” pay reparations for centuries of “racist” housing policies, and end land and real estate speculation, “de-commodify” housing,[6] establish a People’s Housing Commission, and embed goals and standards of the eco-socialist Green New Deal at every level. [7]

The Homes Guarantee plan would also strengthen the Fair Housing Act. [8]

Tara Raghuveer, housing campaign director for People’s Action, explained that the Homes Guarantee plan would shift power from the “owning class” to “regular people” and referred to it as a “transfer of power.” It would provide a great deal of protection for tenants, allowing them to collectively bargain, organize, and have freedom from retaliation. [9]

Promotion

People’s Action created a video that explains its plan. In the video, People’s Action accuses President Donald Trump of “building his wealth off our community’s suffering.” [10]

Members of People’s Action traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers and persuade them to support the left-progressive policy of government ownership and control of housing. The attendees also provided Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) feedback on her People’s Action-backed housing legislation. [11]

Covid-19 Response

Due to COVID-19, Homes Guarantee created a petition and memorandum[12] that demands the U.S. government put a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, ban utility cut-offs, provide $2,000 cash assistance to everyone, support public housing residents, and suspend rent and mortgage payments nationwide. [13]

A number of left-progressive and radical-left organizations contributed to the memorandum: , including Washington CAN, Community Voices Heard, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, ONE Northside, POWER, VOCAL-NY, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Citizen Action of New York, Reclaim Philly, Maine People’s Alliance, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, PUSH Buffalo, KC Tenants, Housing Justice for All NY, MHAction, Right to the City, Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), Alliance for Housing Justice, Center for Popular Democracy, Partnership for Working Families, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, the Democracy Collaborative, and the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative at the University of Pennsylvania. [14]

In April 2020, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act before Congress, which would suspend rent and home mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. People’s Action was involved in the creation of this bill and created the initial outline of the bill. [15]

Political Support

After the announcement of the Homes Guarantee policy in September 2019, left-wing politicians shared their support for similar government interventions into housing, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in her support for The Place to Prosper Act, and former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduction of a housing plan with an investment of $70 million into public housing. [16] People’s Action boasted that Senator Bernie Sanders incorporated much of its own Homes Guarantee plan into his housing plan, while adding additional items, including a $50 billion fund to expand community trust land, a cap on rent increases, and a $70 billion investment in public housing. [17]

Funding

People’s Action has stated that funding for the Homes Guarantee plan would come from a variety of sources. The operating and debt service costs of social housing would come from a combination of rents and state taxes, while capital costs would be covered by discretionary federal grants, as well as municipal and state taxes. [18] Homes Guarantee is partially funded by a $1 trillion investment in the Housing Trust Fund and a $1 trillion bond offering. [19]

People’s Action accuses Congress of deprioritizing spending on “maintaining the stock of existing public infrastructure,” therefore it recommends legislation that switches public housing expenses from discretionary to mandatory spending items. [20]

People’s Action supports Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s left-progressive plan to raise taxes, with  hiked estate and capital gains taxes added to a new financial transaction tax. [21]

Leadership

Homes Guarantee does not have a set leadership structure. It uses activists the People’s Action housing cohort to work on the Homes Guarantee project, in addition to their regular activism work with other organizations. [22]

References

  1. Stilson, Robert. “Leveraging COVID-19 for Socialized Housing: Permanent Expansions of Federal Power.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, July 10, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/leveraging-covid-19-for-socialized-housing-part-1/. ^
  2. Sisson, Patrick. “How the Homes Guarantee Proposal Could Make Housing a Right.” Curbed. September 16, 2019. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://www.curbed.com/2019/9/16/20867963/for-rent-apartment-affordable-housing-homes-guarantee ^
  3. “The Plan for a National Homes Guarantee.” The Next System Project. September 5, 2019. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://thenextsystem.org/learn/stories/plan-national-homes-guarantee ^
  4. Press Release. “People’s Action Unveils Plan to Win a National Homes Guarantee.” People’s Action. September 5, 2019. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://peoplesaction.org/2019/09/breaking-peoples-action-unveils-plan-to-win-a-national-homes-guarantee/ ^
  5. Memo. “People’s Action Releases Policy Plan for a National ‘Homes Guarantee.’” National Low Income Housing Coalition. September 9, 2019. Accessed July 14, 2020. https://nlihc.org/resource/peoples-action-releases-policy-plan-national-homes-guarantee ^
  6. “The Plan for a National Homes Guarantee.” The Next System Project. September 5, 2019. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://thenextsystem.org/learn/stories/plan-national-homes-guarantee ^
  7. Press Release. “People’s Action Unveils Plan to Win a National Homes Guarantee.” People’s Action. September 5, 2019. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://peoplesaction.org/2019/09/breaking-peoples-action-unveils-plan-to-win-a-national-homes-guarantee/ ^
  8. Memo. “People’s Action Releases Policy Plan for a National ‘Homes Guarantee.’” National Low Income Housing Coalition. September 9, 2019. Accessed July 14, 2020. https://nlihc.org/resource/peoples-action-releases-policy-plan-national-homes-guarantee ^
  9. Podcast. “A Homes Guarantee: A Promise of Housing for People, Not Profit.” The Next System Project. November 1, 2019. Accessed July 14, 2020. https://thenextsystem.org/learn/stories/homes-guarantee-promise-housing-people-not-profit ^
  10. ^
  11. Raghuveer, Tara. “It’s Time for a Homes Guarantee.” Truthout. January 15, 2019. Accessed July 14, 2020. https://truthout.org/articles/its-time-for-a-homes-guarantee/ ^
  12. Press Release. “People’s Action and National Allies Demand Federal Housing Action During Coronavirus Crisis.” People’s Action. March 18, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://peoplesaction.org/2020/03/peoples-action-and-national-allies-demand-federal-housing-action-during-coronavirus-crisis/ ^
  13. “We Demand a National Homes Guarantee to Combat COVID-19.” People’s Action. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/co-sign-the-demands ^
  14. “People’s Action and National Allies Demand Federal Housing Action During Coronavirus Crisis.” People’s Action. March 18, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://peoplesaction.org/2020/03/peoples-action-and-national-allies-demand-federal-housing-action-during-coronavirus-crisis/ ^
  15. Press Release. “People’s Action Applauds Rep. Omar’s Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act.” People’s Action. April 17, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020.  https://peoplesaction.org/2020/04/peoples-action-applauds-rep-omars-rent-and-mortgage-cancellation-act/ ^
  16. Calacal, Celisa. “The Radical Vision of a ‘Homes Guarantee’ for All. Truth Dig. October 22, 2019. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-radical-vision-of-a-homes-guarantee-for-all/ ^
  17. Paul, Mark. “Sanders Calls for a National Right to Housing.” Forbes. September 18, 2019. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/washingtonbytes/2019/09/18/sanders-calls-for-a-national-right-to-housing/#765ccb9e4e76 ^
  18. Briefing Book. “A National Homes Guarantee.” People’s Action. September 5, 2019. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://homesguarantee.com/wp-content/uploads/Homes-Guarantee-_-Briefing-Book.pdf ^
  19. Sisson, Patrick. “How the Homes Guarantee Proposal Could Make Housing a Right.” Curbed. September 16, 2019. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://www.curbed.com/2019/9/16/20867963/for-rent-apartment-affordable-housing-homes-guarantee ^
  20. Briefing Book. “A National Homes Guarantee.” People’s Action. September 5, 2019. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://homesguarantee.com/wp-content/uploads/Homes-Guarantee-_-Briefing-Book.pdf ^
  21. Raghuveer, Tara. “It’s Time for a Homes Guarantee.” Truthout. January 15, 2019. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://truthout.org/articles/its-time-for-a-homes-guarantee/ ^
  22. Our Team.” Homes Guarantee. Accessed July 13, 2020. https://homesguarantee.com/our-team/ ^
  23. People’s Action, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part I, Lines 12, 18, and 20. Accessed July 14, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/262613701/02_2020_prefixes_26-27%2F262613701_201812_990O_2020020617115619 ^
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Homes Guarantee


Chicago, IL