An important step to solving the problems of homelessness and poverty is focusing on affordable housing. Most low-income based families spend at least half, or more, of their income on housing costs and bills, giving a name to the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. This makes housing the most expensive bill for a household, effectively straining the economic progress of a productive family. Such strain is worsened for renters, which spend more money on household costs when compared to owners with a mortgage. Household heads often find themselves worrying more about whether they will make it to next month's rent than other important familial issues, something they are not to blame for. Therefore, affordable housing should be one of the main priorities of any government.
Since one should teach by example, I've made affordable housing one of my main priorities as Mayor of the City of Passaic. Since my time as Mayor, I've inaugurated over 25 affordable housing units in our city, with millions of dollars' worth of investment to ensure affordability for renters and buyers. I have also established a program to help first-time homebuyers, thus ensuring their success in buying their first home. Apart from this, I have also established a rent assistance program amidst the pandemic to ensure that my residents aren't worried about choosing between their next meal and paying rent. I do not plan on stopping here. With my new initiatives for downtown development, more affordable housing opportunities will be made to the City of Passaic residents. Although we've made progress, this is only the beginning of our affordable housing journey.