Home is where the heart is. It's where we share meals with our families and friends, where we come home to, and where we watch our kids grow up. But for over 20 million Americans home is a hardship.
Since the banks crashed the economy we’ve seen the number of people at risk of losing their home, or living in insecure, overpriced, rental homes skyrocket.
Home is a hardship for the 9.4 million families in this country that have to spend more than 50% of their incomes on housing costs. And for the 11.1 million families who are underwater on their mortgage. And the cruelest twist? That means they are paying the same banks that crashed the economy and drove down the value of their houses more for their mortgage than their home is currently worth.
We all deserve a place to call home. Especially now. Congress continues to slash housing assistance, the jobless rate remains staggeringly high and we’re facing the worst foreclosure crisis in a generation combined with higher rents. American families are struggling to find and keep an affordable roof over their heads.
We know what having a stable place to call home means: it means better lives for our children, it means better health for the entire family, and it means an increase in neighborhood safety.
The Robin Hood tax could raise billions every year to ensure everyone in this country has a safe, dignified, place to call home.
Let's be honest. Whether you're renting, or own a house it's tough times.
Almost 5 million families have had their homes in foreclosure just in the last two years and research shows that if we continue with our current policies, we aren’t even half way through the foreclosure crisis. That means that more than 10 million families will face foreclosure in the coming years. Something is terribly wrong.
Many of those who have kept their houses are struggling to make payments and stay in their homes. 11 million Americans currently are in debt to the banks that hold their mortgages more than their homes are even worth.
Why? More often than not, they bought their homes before Wall Street bankers tanked the economy with their gambling and speculation. The foreclosure crisis and slow recovery have meant that housing values are at historic lows.
But – these banks, who received billions of public money in bailouts, are still requiring that you, your friends and neighbors pay them back the pre-crash prices even though it’s their fault, not our fault, that our homes are losing value. We still pay. They don’t.
And the picture is not just homeowners. More than a third of Americans rent their homes, and they're facing skyrocketing rents and declining security.
Our seniors have been hit hard because in the midst of this country’s revenue crisis Congress has been making cuts to housing assistance. Over half of all housing assistance goes to help the elderly or disabled have a safe place to live. These cuts means millions are seeing a decline in their quality and security of housing.
What Robin Can Do
There are a lot of reasons for this crazy situation. It won't change overnight. But a major part of the blame for the ongoing threat our homes face lies with the politicians we've elected. And, unsurprisingly, they're also at the heart of the solution – with a little help from Robin Hood.
It's a government's responsibility to put the interests of the people above those of the banks. We bailed out the banks, now it's time to bailout society. Why? because it's society that is 'too big to fail'. A large part of that starts with protecting our homes. Put simply, our government is not asking the financial sector to pay its fair share in taxes. A Robin Hood Tax is a move towards that.
The Robin Hood Tax will also slow down the dangerous speculation on mortgages that led to the current economic and foreclosure crisis.
The Robin Hood Tax will raise enough revenue to shore up and expand our crumbling public housing infrastructure. It could provide rental assistance to any and all who need it and help struggling homeowners keep their homes.
It could allow every American to have a safe, dignified place to call home.