Abundant Housing Massachusetts Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Criminalize Homelessness

We at Abundant Housing MA are dismayed by the Supreme Court’s decision to further criminalize homelessness in Johnson v. Grants Pass. We echo the sentiments shared by our partners at YIMBY Action and YIMBY Law, as well as those shared by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  

On June 28th, the Supreme Court ruled that people experiencing homelessness are allowed to be subjected to arrest, ticket, or fine when sleeping outside even when their community does not have adequate resources. Solutions to solve our national housing crisis should never include criminalization of basic human rights. We need to redirect our resources to collectively working towards long-term solutions. 

The future lies in the hands of local governments, who are on the front lines of solving our collective housing crisis. They hold the keys to making it easier and less expensive to build housing. It is proven that places with more homes have lower rates of people experiencing homelessness. Yet for decades, municipalities across Massachusetts and the country have not built the homes we need to keep housing costs low and ensure that everyone living here has a roof over their heads.The problem is not people experiencing homelessness but rather policies and zoning codes that consistently block the ability of building homes our nation desperately needs. 

Abundant Housing MA will continue to work with state and local partners to make it easier to build the homes we need for all Massachusetts residents, both current and future.

On behalf of Abundant Housing Massachusetts Executive Director Jesse Kanson-Benanav & Board President Molly Goodman