Ilhan Omar Introduces $1 Trillion ‘Homes for All Act,’ Declares Housing a ‘Human Right’


Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN-05) new “Homes for All Act” would cost more than $1 trillion over a 10-year period and has a goal of building 12 million “public and affordable” housing units.

The bill would “dramatically expand the public housing stock in the United States and guarantee housing as a human right,” Omar’s office said in a Wednesday press release announcing the bill.

“Every American deserves access to a safe and stable place to live, but unfortunately, our current free-market housing system is not meeting the needs of working families,” Omar said in a statement. “On a single night, over 10,000 people in Minnesota were homeless last year—the highest number ever recorded. 6,000 of them were youth – which means children are showing up at school without a place to go home to.”

The first-term congresswoman said families across the nation are “struggling with homelessness and housing insecurity” and declared housing a “fundamental human right.”

“It’s time we as a nation acted like it and end the housing crisis once and for all,” she continued, noting that her bill would repeal the 1937 Faircloth Amendment, which limits the construction of new public housing units.

“The bill will make a historic investment of $800 billion over the course of 10 years with the goal of building 8.5 million new units of public housing. The bill will also invest an additional $200 billion in the Housing Trust Fund to help local communities build 3.5 million new private, permanent affordable housing projects for low and extremely-low income families,” Omar’s office said of the bill.

The Homes for All Act would make public housing expenses mandatory spending in the federal budget in order to “prevent future investment bias” and ensure that “the funding needs of all current and future public housing are fully met and cannot be cut in the event of a budget crisis or a change in administration.”

“This simple change in budgetary structure makes a homes guarantee real – ensuring the federal government is committed to this program the same way it is to Social Security and Medicare,” her office elaborated.

On top of the $1 trillion for new housing units, Omar’s bill would create a new “Community Control and Anti-Displacement Fund” within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This fund would receive a $200 billion appropriation over a 10-year period, making the total cost of the bill $1.2 trillion.

Her bill was endorsed by representatives from the Center for Popular Democracy, People’s Action, and the Center for American Progress.

“Representative Omar’s bill proves that it is possible for every person in the United States to have a stable, affordable place to call home,” said Dianne Enriquez, co-director of community dignity campaigns for the Center for Popular Democracy. “Not only does the legislation create 12 million units of affordable housing, it also makes sure that all future funding needs are fully met so that public units do not fall into disrepair. This provision, plus wrap-around services for people experiencing homelessness, would help to end our housing crisis.”

Minnesota Rep. Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield), the vice chair of the Minnesota House Housing Finance and Policy Committee, expressed his support for the bill in a statement Thursday.

“We need bold solutions if we are to meet the crisis facing Minnesota families who cannot afford their homes, and Congresswoman Omar’s plan is the kind of bold thinking we need at all levels of government,” he said. “Every Minnesotan should have access to housing stability. This aspirational goal is within reach, but only if we take an all-hands-on-deck approach to our housing crisis and take urgent action across the continuum of housing.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Housing Units” by USAG-Humphreys. CC BY 2.0.






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2 Thoughts to “Ilhan Omar Introduces $1 Trillion ‘Homes for All Act,’ Declares Housing a ‘Human Right’”

  1. M. Flatt

    No one should be “forced” into sleeping on the streets. I agree, but the majority of those that are homeless are there by choice, conscious or otherwise.
    Because a judicial decree takes money from my paycheck to pay for my children’s “basic three”, I have major concerns for the guardians of those large numbers of children on the streets. Why aren’t they providing a place to live? (What about food? I suspect these are the same parents of kids with “food insecurity.” How can a person with children not provide those?) What mechanisms are in place to force someone to pay for their housing?

    Oh, there they are! It seems Ms. Omar would force every American to pay for the inadequacies of these parents. We already have to subsidize the housing for our “poor”. (It angers me to see satellite dishes installed on the porches of “public housing”.) She would put a shackle on the American public, who works to provide food and housing for their families, so that those who refuse to work can get “what they are entitled to.”

    “Housing is a Fundamental Human Right”? NO, it is not. Equal opportunity to earn the money to provide housing may be one, but free or low cost housing is not. I’m not saying we need to have a program to force employers to hire people of low ability, but we need to address the root cause of these ills, and it’s that they don’t have the resources to get the resources for basic needs.

  2. Russ

    It is always amazing when anyone just says that ANYTHING is a right. We have a constitution
    that spells out the rights of the citizens of this county. just wanting something to be a right does not make it one. But then when you elect idiots, this is what you get