A lack of safe, affordable housing is one of the biggest barriers to successful integration for refugees and immigrants.
The greater Sacramento region needs roughly 154,000 additional housing units by 2029 in order to meet goals set by the State of California. In order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, Sacramento renters would need to earn $31.25 an hour – twice what newly arrived refugees earn in their first jobs in Sacramento.
This lack of affordable housing is a key driver of the homelessness crisis, as low-income families – including refugee and immigrant families – are pushed into greater vulnerability by the unaffordability of adequate housing.
Measure O, a Sacramento ballot measure that would ban homeless encampments from public property, offers no new funding, no new housing, and no additional mental health or substance abuse services. While it proposes the creation of new shelters, it does not provide the funds to do so. Funding for this measure will need to be redirected from other sources, such as existing shelters or other city services.
Enforcement of Measure O, combined with the city needing to defend itself from lawsuits, will divert important resources and attention from solutions that address the root causes of homelessness – including building more housing.
Opening Doors stands with immigrants and refugees by saying No to Measure O's incomplete solution.