Congresswoman Barbara Lee Introduces Renters’ Bill of Rights Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), today introduced a Renters’ Bill of Rights Resolution affirming the right of all renters to a safe, affordable, and decent home.

The Renters’ Bill of Rights Resolution supports a significant investment in housing resources to build and preserve affordable housing for America's poorest families and to end homelessness and housing poverty once and for all. The resolution also supports funding for programs to increase access to affordable housing and address homelessness at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other Federal agencies. 

“Accessing safe, affordable housing is a matter of life and death for millions of families,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “As the Delta Variant spreads throughout our communities and people fall behind on rent, investing in quality housing and preventing evictions is more critical than ever. Keeping people in their homes is a racial justice issue and a public health issue. We must continue to protect the rights of renters across the country and invest in quality housing.” 

“I applaud Congresswoman Lee for her bold and sustained commitment to ensuring that the lowest-income and most marginalized people have safe, accessible and affordable homes,” said state Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “Our best opportunity to realize this ambitious goal is in the upcoming infrastructure and economic recovery package. If investments are targeted well, Congress can end homelessness by investing at the scale necessary in proven solutions, including rental assistance, public housing, and the national Housing Trust Fund.”

Additionally, the resolution: 

  • Supports including in any comprehensive infrastructure and economic recovery package housing investments to serve families with  the lowest incomes, including:
    • $70,000,000,000 in funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund to address the backlog of capital repairs for public housing;
    • No less than $45,000,000,000 for the National Housing Trust Fund to boost the supply of affordable housing available to extremely low-income families; and
    • $180,000,000,000 for rental assistance to help families stay in their homes.
  • Affirms that renters may not be barred from federally assisted housing solely on the basis of a criminal record; 
  • Supports expansion of renters' rights, including the right of tenants to organize tenant associations; and 
  • Affirms that housing is a basic human right.