New Poll: Bipartisan Majority of California Voters Support Amending State Constitution to Make Housing a Human Right

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As millions of people in California and across the United States face the prospect of losing housing due to the economic effects of COVID-19, new polling published on Monday shows that a majority of California voters, across party affiliation, support making housing a human right under the state constitution.

The new findings were published Tuesday in a report written by Moms 4 Housing, a California-based collective of unhoused and insecurely housed mothers, in partnership with Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative Institute.

“There are over 150,000 people in this state experiencing homelessness, and it is unjust, inhumane, and cruel for the government to continue to fail to provide real solutions,” said Carroll Fife, director of the Oakland office for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and a representative of Moms 4 Housing. “No one should have to go without a home, now more than ever, and California must urgently take bold steps because if every person has a right to life, that must include a right to a home.”

According to the polling, 66 percent of likely California voters — including 54 percent of people who identify as Republican — would support amending the California constitution to establish a fundamental human right to housing. Only 7 percent of those polled strongly opposed such an amendment. Additionally, 78 percent, including 64 percent of Republicans, would support legislation declaring that it is the policy of California that every child and family has the right to safe, decent, and affordable housing.

On any given night, California accounts for more than 30 percent of all people experiencing homelessness in the United States — around 150,000 out of 560,000 nationwide. Millions more are housing insecure or severely cost-burdened due to a variety of factors, including high housing and rent prices and institutional racism. Establishing housing as a human right under California’s constitution would not require the state to build houses for each person, but it would obligate the state government to take much more aggressive action to address long standing problems of homelessness and housing insecurity.

The full report from Moms 4 Housing is available here.