Tuesday, September 16, 2008

ADAPT Challenges HUD, Dems, McCain on Disability/Housing Economic Crisis

For Immediate Release
September 16, 2008

For information Contact: Randy Alexander (901) 359-4982
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504

ADAPT Challenges HUD, Dems, McCain on Disability/Housing Economic Crisis

Washington, D.C.---ADAPT wasted no time challenging multiple policymakers on the housing crisis for persons with disabilities who have low and extremely low incomes. After setting up a tent city at HUD headquarters just after 4 a.m., ADAPT sent 100 activists to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices in Washington, D.C., and another hundred to a Sen. John McCain campaign office in Arlington, VA. All three entities were presented with the ADAPT platform for affordable, accessible housing.

"The DNC was cordial, and they accepted our housing platform, as well as our invitation to visit 'DUH City,' which is HUD spelled backwards," said octonagerian Barb Toomer, ADAPT organizer from Utah. The career HUD staff that met with ADAPT told our people they had no authority to make decisions and had to wait for the administration or administrative appointees to make any decisions, so the meeting felt like a waste of time. Sen. John McCain's campaign staff not only refused to even look at our housing platform, they had eleven of us arrested by police who caused injuries to at least one arrestee."

ADAPT's housing platform points to America's longstanding and still growing crisis in the availability of affordable, accessible integrated housing. Many people with disabilities live on benefits that are only 18% of the median income, a full 25% below the poverty level, and an amount that is less than the national average rent for a studio/efficiency apartment.

"The federal government is sending stimulus payments to middle class workers, and is providing economic relief for the mortgage crisis, and maybe even the bank crisis," said Dawn Russell, Denver ADAPT. "What about all of us who live on fixed incomes? If we can't afford the cost of housing, we'll end up on the street or being forced into nursing homes and institutions. What are the federal government, Congress, and the presidential candidates going to do to help us with our housing crisis?"

In its platform, ADAPT is asking for:

* 5000 new housing vouchers per year for 10 years, targeted to people transitioning out of nursing homes and other institutions;
* Twice as much funding for the construction of new housing stock that is affordable, accessible and integrated;
* Policies and procedures to track the new vouchers to assure they remain targeted to people with disabilities when the original user becomes ineligible or no longer needs the voucher;
* People with disabilities who reside in institutional settings to be recognized as "homeless."

ADAPT's DUH City will remain in operation twenty four hours a day until Thursday, September 18. The DUH City Times will be delivered daily to every member of Congress, and there will be daily DUH TV coverage on You Tube. Background information, real stories of real people and photos can all be accessed at http://www.duhcity.org.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at http://www.adapt.org/