WASHINGTON (JTA) — The umbrella body for Jewish public policy groups joined other religious organizations in asking Congress to provide $1 billion to the National Housing Trust Fund.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Catholic Charities (USA) and the National Council of Churches are working together to elevate poverty in the national dialogue, according to a press release issued by JCPA Thursday.
The call for more funding is part of the fifth annual Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization, which is dedicated to building opportunity through affordable housing.
From Nov. 8 to Nov. 18, members of the interfaith coalition are participating in poverty simulations, building homes with Habitat for Humanity and helping out at emergency shelters.
Among the 45 Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh groups endorsing the effort are 17 Jewish groups, including representatives from the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist streams.
Fighting Poverty with Faith began with a blessing at an apartment complex in Washington D.C.
“Affordable and quality housing like this should not be the exception,” JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow said at the event, joined by Muslim and Christian officials. “Subsidized housing for low-income people not only stabilizes individuals and families, but can revitalize communities. Children with a home to return to are more likely to succeed at school and families are more likely to invest in their neighborhoods.”.
More than 630,000 Americans are homeless, Gutow said. “It is our moral duty to ensure we are doing all that we can to bring our brothers and sisters from the street,” he said.
The $1 billion requested “will ensure affordable and quality housing for 3.5 million extremely low-income households over the next 10 year,” Gutow said.