February 26, 2024

ICYMI: Congresswoman Bush joins Congresswoman Watson Coleman in a Letter to HUD Secretary Fudge Requesting Information on Efforts to Reduce Evictions of Black Renters, Women, and Children


Washington, D.C. (Feb. 26, 2024)—Last week, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) joined Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) and 46 of her House colleagues in a letter to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requesting information on the efforts HUD can make to address the disparate impact of eviction on Black renters, women, and children—three classes protected by the Fair Housing Act

Each year, 2.9 million children are affected by an eviction, or one child every ten seconds. Eviction rates during childhood are higher than at any other age. While Black Americans only make up 18.6% of all renters in the United States, over half (51.1%) of those affected by eviction are Black. 

Additionally, those who have been evicted for any reason regularly find it harder to secure safe housing in the future.

“Despite the incredible strides our nation has made since the Fair Housing Act was signed into law in 1968,” reads the letter, “there are still grave injustices – particularly concerning equitable access to affordable, safe, and stable housing.”

“The alarming disparities in high eviction rates for black women and children demands immediate attention,” said Marcella Middleton, Executive Director of A Way Home. “As a black woman who has experienced these inequities firsthand, I urge the Secretary of HUD to prioritize this issue. It is crucial to recognize the power of targeted universalism and the positive impact it can have on all of us when we invest in creating a more equitable society.” 

“Eviction is a deeply harmful event that affects millions of Americans each year. A disproportionate share of renters facing eviction are Black, and a startlingly large share are children,” said Professor Matthew Desmond, Principal Investigator at the Eviction Lab at Princeton University and author of Evicted, a Pulitzer Prize winning book on the subject of eviction. “I’m encouraged to see Rep. Watson Coleman and colleagues recognizing the scale of this problem and pushing HUD for answers about what the administration can and will do about it.”

 A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The letter requested the following from Secretary Marcia Fudge: 

  1. What steps HUD can take to investigate and explore remedies to the disparate impact of eviction among three classes protected by the Fair Housing Act - Black renters, women and households with children.
  2. Information on how HUD can target available resources to families with children to ensure their safe, stable housing and what steps the Department will take to encourage local partners—including courts and school districts—to further this goal.
  3. The report also finds that nearly 170,000 seniors face the risk of eviction every year. What role HUD is playing to ensure the stable housing of the growing population of older renters?
  4. What position, if any, HUD has on tracking evictions from federally assisted housing or the creation of a national evictions database. 

A response from Secretary Fudge was requested by March 18th.

The letter was also signed by Reps. Becca Balint (VT-At Large), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), André Carson (IN-07), Troy Carter (LA-02), Greg Casar (TX-35), Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Danny Davis (IL-07), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Valerie Foushee (NC-04), Maxwell Frost (FL-10), Jesús Garcia (IL-04), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Raul Grijalva (AZ-07), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pramila JayapalWA-07), Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA-04), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Betty McCollum (MN-04), James McGovern (MA-02), Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Stacey Plaskett (VI-At Large), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07),  Delia Ramirez (IL-03), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Emilia Sykes (OH-13), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica Wilson (FL-24).

It was supported by the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness and the Congressional Renters Caucus.

Throughout her tenure, Congresswoman Bush has remained a steadfast advocate for housing justice:

  • In August 2023, Congresswoman Bush reintroduced the Unhoused Bill of Rights which provides a plan to end the unhoused crisis by 2027 and achieve housing justice for all.
  • Last year, she joined her fellow Co-Chairs to re-establish the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness—a caucus dedicated to educating members of Congress and their staff on the complex issues faced by unhoused persons. As Co-Chair, Congresswoman Bush led over 100 of her colleagues in a letter to the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee emphasizing the need for bold federal investments in affordable housing initiatives and homeless assistance programs in Fiscal Year 24.
  • In February 2023, Congresswoman Bush joined Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) in sending letters to Greystar Real Estate and the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) to ensure renters’ rights are being protected during the tenant screening process.