Universal Living Wage


An Open Letter to Barack Obama

House the Homeless president, Richard R. Troxell, lays out a jobs plan to put millions of Americans back to work; jumpstart the construction industry building housing for the newly-employed; stimulate the economy through a surge in consumer spending; delay, reduce, and restructure foreclosures; while at the same time reducing taxes and subsidies from the federal government to the unemployed. Impossible? No! It’s actually quite realistic. Check out the plan here.


ULW logo copyAbout The Universal Living Wage

According to the National Conference of Mayors 16th annual survey on Hunger and Homelessness in American Cities, the leading cause of hunger and homelessness is low-paying jobs. In a previous report, the Mayors asserted that “in every state, more than the minimum wage is required to afford a one or two bedroom apartment at 30% of earned income.”

Back in 1997, Richard R. Troxell, president of House the Homeless, Inc., designed a three pronged formula using existing government guidelines that would turn the Federal Minimum Wage (FMW) into a Universal Living Wage (ULW). The ULW indexes the FMW to the local cost of housing throughout the entire United States and it ensures that anyone working 40 hours in a week (be it through one job or three) will be able to afford basic food, clothing, shelter, utilities and medical care.

In 2001, an Internet campaign for the ULW was launched. A support base of 1,700 businesses, unions, non-profits, and faith based organizations has been created which spans every state in the Union and beyond. To galvanize that support, two National Days of Action have been created.

In April, we stage our Tax Day Action by going to our nation’s Post Offices and promoting the theme: if businesses pay living wages, we can reduce our tax burden and reduce excess dependence on food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), General Assistance, etc.

In September, on the day after Labor Day, we celebrate Bridge the Economic Gap Day. We get on our nations bridges and fly our 4′ by 10′ banners in support of a universal living wage.

In March 2010, while in Savannah, Georgia, President Barack Obama said that every American should have a job that pays a living wage. We agree. Please work with us to make Living Wages the American Standard! Here are some links to more information and to ways you can help.

Get Involved!

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