Speeches and Statements

SPEECH: Rep. Murphy Speech on Publication of Preliminary Report by New Democrat Coalition Housing Task Force

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Washington, June 6, 2018 | comments

 All Americans, especially families with children, deserve to live in safe and clean housing. A good home is the foundation for a good life.

While our nation faces numerous challenges, it’s clear from the evidence we gathered that something is very wrong with housing in America.

Years after the housing crisis, our economy is not providing enough housing options. In regions where population is growing, like my central Florida district, the cost of shelter is rising for everyone, including both renters and homeowners. So, it is both an affordable housing problem and a housing affordability problem.

In almost every American city seeing rapid growth, like Orlando for instance, housing becomes a game of musical chairs. We end up with more people than housing units. And, when the music stops (or the rent increases), the unlucky are left homeless. Our society has failed to overcome this fundamental problem of too many players and not enough chairs.

Despite a strengthening economy and a decade of surging federal investment to end homelessness, the homeless population grew in 2017.

Over 550,000 Americans sleep in shelters or on the street on a typical night.

In Orlando, the housing problem is particularly acute. While every major metropolitan area in the nation has a shortage of available and affordable rental homes for extremely low-income families, the Orlando region has the second-most severe shortage in the country, tied with Los Angeles and behind only Las Vegas.

The problem in Orlando is compounded as we welcome American citizens from Puerto Rico fleeing the economic crisis in the U.S. territory and the damage caused by Hurricane Maria. The demand for affordable housing keeps growing, while the supply stagnant.

I can tell you that, when I speak to constituents, the lack of housing options is often cited as the most pressing problem they face. 

Click here for a PDF version of the speech.
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