…that’s the title of this year’s conference of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT). I’ve been to NAHT conference quite a few times, but it never fails to fascinate and inspire me. Charlotte Delgado has been a NAHT Board member since it was formed 22 years ago. She lives in Sacramento, California and at 75 and now walking with difficulty, has lived a life with some unimaginable pain. Three of her sons were killed in Vietnam. I know how it feels when one of your children dies, but to lose three in a senseless war would break me. It hasn’t broken Charlotte. She crosses the continent several times a year to speak truth to power. This is how she opened this year’s NAHT conference:
‘The government is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and poorest – women, veterans and the disabled. They’re cutting programmes for affordable housing, but there are no cuts in the military budget. I’m a mother of seven veterans, including three who are over on the wall. Our veterans need to be looked after by bringing them home. We need to make sure that big corporations like Apple and Bank of America pay their fair share of taxes. I pay mine. We’re here because the government needs to see the faces of the people their cuts affect. But we also need to take responsibility and if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. We need a government that recognises decent housing as a basic human right.’
There really isn’t much more for me to say. I’m heading back to the UK today, but although its three thousand miles away, in terms of housing, it’s getting closer all the time.
 The Vietnam War memorial in DC.