Housing as a "Sacred Right"

September 10, 1999

Source: The New York Times

On September 10, 1999, The New York Times reported that more than 300 religious leaders in the United States - Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, and Muslims - have signed a letter to President Clinton declaring housing a "sacred right" and asking the government to take measures to help the poor obtain access to permanent shelter. The letter faults the government for reducing the number of vouchers for subsidized housing from 230,000 in the 1980's to about 90,000 last year. The letter asks the government to provide at least 200,000 vouchers for the fiscal year 2000 and to spend $100 million to "preserve the country's existing affordable housing supply." The letter was circulated to different religious organizations by two San Francisco organizations, Housing America and Religious Witness with Homeless People.