Rep. Gomez Founds Historic Congressional Renters Caucus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a historic move to amplify the voices of renters across the nation, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) announced the formation of the first ever Congressional Renters Caucus today at a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Watch the video HERE.

Renter households represent 78% of Congressman Gomez’s district, the highest percentage of renters of any congressional district in the state of California.

“As the burden of rent has increased significantly, far outpacing the increase in real wages, it’s become clear that we need a strong, coordinated effort in Congress to advocate for the millions of renters in our country. That’s why I’m proud to launch the first-ever congressional caucus to fight for renters and affordable, quality living,” said Rep. Gomez. “Representing the highest percentage of renters in California and third highest in the nation, I see firsthand the challenges faced by renters—soaring costs, often subpar living conditions, discriminatory barriers. The unreasonable cost of rent not only affects individual families, in fact economists warn it will have significant impact on the country’s GDP, meaning this is an issue that affects everyone. This long overdue caucus will be the launching pad for legislative efforts and advocacy to finally give renters a voice in Washington.”

The Congressional Renters Caucus comes as recent studies show that for the first time since tracking began 20 years ago, the average American is rent burdened, meaning they pay over 30 percent of their income on rent. This historic initiative aims to address the challenges faced by millions of renters, advocate for their rights, and promote affordable and safe housing options.

The Congressional Renters Caucus will serve as a vital platform for legislators to collaborate, propose legislation, and engage in constructive dialogue on critical issues impacting renters. With over 44 million households nationwide living in rental accommodations, it is imperative to prioritize their needs and concerns.

The Congressional Renters Caucus will work to expand assistance for all eligible cost-burdened renters, eliminate bureaucratic and discriminatory barriers to accessing affordable housing; and improve the quality, availability, and affordability of our nation’s rental housing stock.

Reps. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) are Vice Chairs of the Caucus and Reps. Dan Goldman (NY-10), Rob Menendez (NJ-08), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC at large), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Grace Meng (NY-06), Ted Lieu (CA-36) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) are founding members.

“Our country has a growing affordable housing crisis and families and individuals are struggling to keep a roof over their head. From rent stabilization policies to renter protections, we must use every tool available to affirm that housing is a human right. I am proud to join the Congressional Renter’s Caucus as Vice Chair and look forward to the critical work of ensuring renters have access to safe and affordable housing alongside Chair Gomez," said Pressley.

“Northern New Jersey has the sixth highest rent burden in the country – a serious issue which we must address by providing more affordable housing and increasing the housing supply across our district,” said Congressman Menendez. “I look forward to working alongside Rep. Gomez and my colleagues in the Congressional Renter's Caucus in our united efforts to support working families.”

“Folks shouldn’t have to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads,” said Congressman Frost. “Yet working people are being squeezed across Florida and our nation, while our governments stand by and watch as greedy landlords and leasing companies raise rents despite wages staying the same. Housing is a human right, our people deserve bold legislation that protects them, not the for profit corporations. As a founding member of the House Renters Caucus, I’m ready to get to work for working people and renters in Central Florida and beyond.”

“Delivering for the millions of Americans who rent their homes must be a priority for this Congress,” Congressman Goldman said. “New York City has one of the highest renter populations in the country, with nearly half paying over 30 percent of their income on rent. The nationwide housing crisis calls for a reinvigorated effort to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, stable, and affordable housing. I am proud to join my colleagues as a founding member of the Congressional Renter’s Caucus in fighting for legislation that uplifts and supports renting families here in New York and across the country.”

"D.C. is a particularly expensive housing market composed primarily of renters," Congresswoman Norton said. "As the District's sole member of Congress, I'm pleased to join the Congressional Renter's Caucus to prioritize policy solutions that promote affordable housing options. Thank you to the caucus chair, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, for launching the effort to find long-term answers for D.C. and the country."

“I applaud Representative Gomez’s leadership in founding the Congressional Renters Caucus. There is a tremendous power imbalance in our housing system that tilts heavily in favor of landlords at the expense of low-income and other marginalized renters, putting families at greater risk of housing instability and homelessness, and fueling racial inequity,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “While the affordable housing crisis pre-dates the pandemic, recent rent increases – driven by growing demand for rental housing, limited supply, high inflation, and a patchwork of limited renter protections – have exacerbated the housing challenges extremely low-income renters were already facing. Congress must increase investments in the long-term solutions that address the underlying causes of the affordable housing crisis, and enact needed reforms that level the playing field between tenants and landlords”

“The National Housing Law Project celebrates the creation of the Congressional Renter’s Caucus. Housing is a basic human right, a key to family and individual stability, a social determinant of health and childhood development, and often provides an opportunity to develop wealth. The U.S. housing market and even federal programs were largely developed to encourage and support homeownership and asset building. But as the portion of American households who rent rises, it is important that Congress stay focused on protecting tenants’ rights and preserving safe, decent, accessible, and affordable housing. The current rental market often subjects tenants to discrimination, harassment, rent gauging and significant rent burden, frequent and unjust evictions, and dangerous conditions; and it prevents opportunities for closing the wealth gap. Congress can and should address these challenges, and we’re confident the Congressional Renter’s Caucus can bring together experts and champions to reform the system,” said Shamus Roller, Executive Director.


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