Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Gave a Passionate Speech About Why Housing is a Human Right

“Our access and our guarantee to having a home comes before someone else’s privilege to earn a profit.”

Lars Niki/Getty

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke with New Yorkers about her efforts in Congress to increase access to affordable housing at a town hall in the Bronx Thursday evening. Housing, she says, should be legislated as a human right. “What does that mean? It means that our access and our guarantee to having a home comes before someone else’s privilege to earn a profit,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

The town hall, hosted by Housing Justice for All, a coalition of tenant associations and other housing advocates in New York, brought together tenants who are pushing for a package of housing bills that could implement universal rent control in the state. 

Ocasio-Cortez says that with a Democratic majority in the house, she’s working at the federal level to disassemble the tax breaks that have incentivized companies to ignore residents. She also plans to re-introduce the Fair Chance at Housing Act in the House that would ease restrictions to federally-subsidized housing, particularly for tenants with previous criminal convictions. She told attendees that Sen. Kamala Harris is considering introducing it in the Senate, as well. “We have been conditioned to think that basic rights are a luxury and a privilege when they are not,” she said.  

She also emphasized the role of the environment and the need for policies like the Green New Deal to access safe apartments, clean air, and nature. “The environmental piece of this is where the dignity is, and we have to fight for that too.” 

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate