UCC takes part in stand out for affordable housing

The United Church of Christ took part in a ‘stand out’ on Monday, April 22, in front of the Supreme Court building advocating for affordable housing.

The boots-on-the-ground justice and advocacy team from the Office of Public Policy & Advocacy in Washington, D.C. were joined by New Ark United Church of Christ from Newark, Delaware. They were among hundreds of activists protesting the move to potentially penalize homelessness while affordable housing arguments were being heard on the case of City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson.

The Supreme Court will determine whether a local government can arrest or fine people for sleeping outside when adequate shelter is not available.

The UCC has a long history of support for housing justice with the belief that adequate housing is a basic human right.

Rev. Mike Lonergan and Ron Hartman of New Ark UCC join Abigail Cipparone of the UCC Washington, D.C. office at the stand out for affordable housing.

Over 700 people were there from all over the country. The Rev. Mike Lonergan of New Ark UCC was part of the protest.

“It is unfortunate that it is necessary for people to come to Washington because elected officials have chosen to criminalize being a victim of capitalism,” he said. 

Lonergan said that he was heartened to hear that 72% of Americans support providing housing for the unhoused. “But my heart broke when I heard about the legislation adopted in Tennessee and Kentucky that criminalizes sleeping in public places in their entire state, without accompanying legislation to provide funding for housing,” he went on to say.

However, Longergan said he was also inspired.

“I am challenging myself and people of faith across the country to challenge their elected officials to move beyond NIMBY to YIMBY — from Not In My Backyard, to Yes In My backyard.” 

The UCC is a proud endorser of the Yes in God’s Backyard Act (S. 3910), which would provide grants and technical assistance for faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and local governments seeking to increase the supply of affordable housing in their communities.

The UCC encourages congregants to send a letter to Congress, urging them to pass the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 3238/S. 1557) to provide more affordable housing for those most in need: https://ow.ly/QNvn50RlbXE

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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