FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44) introduced the Returning Home Act, legislation that would provide resources to communities to secure housing for individuals returning from incarceration.
“There are 80 million people in the United States with an arrest or conviction record,” said Barragán. “These individuals face numerous barriers to accessing adequate housing, from a lack of financial resources to market-based discrimination, placing them at high-risk of being homeless upon release or even years later. In Los Angeles County, 70 percent of our adult unsheltered population has been involved with the criminal legal system. This legislation is a critical step toward addressing the issue. It will provide communities with crucial resources necessary for housing and access to life-changing services for formerly incarcerated individuals.”
The Returning Home Act would authorize $100 million for community organizations in partnership with public entities to establish demonstration projects specifically for housing those returning from incarceration. The bill would address a number of barriers the formerly incarcerated face by authorizing funds for rental assistance, housing stabilization services, and financial stipends to families housing family members returning from incarceration.
“Safe and stable housing is essential, especially for those returning to our communities from prisons and jails,” said Nicholas Turner, President and Director of the Vera Institute of Justice. “We commend Congresswoman Barragan for calling attention to this important issue and opening avenues that will lead to long-term sustainable solutions.”
“As individuals return home to rebuild their lives, they are faced with significant barriers to economic and housing stability. To help change and transform lives long term, meaningful housing support is essential.” said Veronica Lewis, Director of the Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System.“ We are proud to endorse and support the Returning Home bill and are hopeful it will become law to uplift some of the most marginalized individuals.”
“Housing is a human right, and Rep. Barragán’s Returning Home Act is a first step to making that right real for individuals with conviction histories. For too many Americans, disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, homelessness is both a cause and consequence of incarceration, costing taxpayers millions and costing impacted individuals their lives” said Eric Tars, Legal Director at the National Homelessness Law Center. “This bill will help us further prove that housing everyone makes us all safer until the day when we can all enjoy the safety and dignity of the right to adequate housing.”
The Congresswoman is joined by the following original cosponsors: Representatives Bowman (NY-16), García (Il-4), Hayes (CT-05), Kamlager-Dove (CA-37) Norton (DC-At Large), Peltola (AK-At Large) Tlaib (MI-12 ), Tokuda (HI-02), and Watson Coleman (NJ-12).
In addition, the following organizations have endorsed the bill: The Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement (FICPFM), Fortune Society, Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS), Justice4Housing, Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership (LARRP), Operation Restoration, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National Disability Rights Network, National Homelessness Law Center, National Housing Law Project, The Reentry Working Group, Second Chance Center, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Vera Institute of Justice, and Voice Of The Experienced.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Bellflower, Carson, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Lakewood, Long Beach, Lynwood, Paramount, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, West Carson, and Wilmington. She serves as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Health, Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Minerals Subcommittees.