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Local Progress is a network of hundreds of local elected officials from around the country committed to a strong economy, equal justice, livable cities, and effective government.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Special Briefing on Affordable Housing and Student Debt

WarrenOn June 24th, 2015, Local Progress, The Center for Popular Democracy and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee hosted Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on a briefing call about what cities can do to create permanent affordable housing and support debt-free college.

This call gave local elected officials exciting new tools to take action to promote affordable housing and debt free college, which are two critical, inter-connected elements of the challenges that working families face when trying to build a secure, dignified life. Richmond CA Councilmember and former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin from Local Progress, together with Amy Schur, Campaign Coordinator with ACCE and the Center for Popular Democracy, and PCCC Co-founder Adam Green all shared their expertise and advice on the topics.

You can view former Mayor McLaughlin’s Powerpoint presentation here.

The Issues:

The affordable housing crisis is being exacerbated by unscrupulous hedge funds that are buying up delinquent mortgages and foreclosed properties so they can make big profits off of sky-high rents and property flipping. But there is an important opportunity to push back against this trend, save homes from foreclosure and transform foreclosed property into affordable housing.

Leading Local Progress members from around the country are teaming up with community-based organizations and housing activists in an innovative campaign to convince the big banks to sell distressed housing assets to not-for-profits instead of to the hedge funds, and they want your help.

How Elected Officials can take action on Affordable Housing:

  • Two first steps your City can take are to join other Mayors in:
    1. Signing a joint letter to the Big Banks, Fannie/Freddie and HUD, urging them to prioritize selling troubled mortgages to non-profit “good actors” instead of Wall Street speculators, and
    2. Co-sponsoring a Resolution, with this same message, going to the US Conference of Mayors annual meeting (June 19-22).

Resources

Mayor of Oakland Resolution – Non Profits Acquisition of Troubled Mortgages
Restore Community Wealth in Cities
Do Hedge Funds Make Good Neighbors Report
Resolution – Intent to Work with Non-profits on Foreclosure Prevention Program

Debt-Free College: Momentum is building for debt-free college. In January, PCCC members voted for debt-free college as a top “big idea.” In February and March, PCCC lobbied Congress and in April, 5,000 Democratic leaders across the nation — 60 in Congress — signed a letter calling for a national goal of debt-free college. Shortly after, support for debt-free college resolutions in the Senate and the House increased dramatically.

Now presidential candidates are embracing the issue.  Everywhere students, policy wonks, activists, and members of Congress are mobilizing behind a national debt-free college proposal, and we need your support.

How Elected Officials can take action on Debt-Free College:

Resources

City Council Model Resolution for Debt-free College
National Goal of Debt-Free College in America- A Blueprint

 

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