Julie Daniels earns $28,000 a year working full time as a certified nursing assistant for Stamford Health System in Stamford, Connecticut. A member of Local 1199, Daniels and her three children have been unable to obtain affordable housing within traveling distance of her job. The family's only available housing option has been a homeless shelter, and the prospects for Daniels obtaining a safe and affordable home remain grim.

The Daniels family is among an increasing number of working families whose paycheck is not sufficient for them to obtain a decent, permanent place to live. Unfortunately, we have heard very little this political season about the housing problems faced by them and the nearly 6 million other American families unable to secure affordable housing. While the presidential candidates have highlighted the problems of working families, they have been silent on the shortage of affordable units that plagues people across America.

This silence is, in many respects, a mystery. During the past decade, America's housing crisis has spread from rapidly gentrifying urban centers to the suburbs. An affordable housing shortage once limited to both coasts now strikes such heartland states as Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and Colorado. Nationally, more than 1.5 million low-cost housing units have been lost in recent years, and millions of children are growing up in housing that is substandard, unaffordable or dangerous.

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