For at least 11.4 million people in the United States, over half of their income goes towards paying rent. Although affordable housing and rental insecurity is a major issue, the topic is not typically addressed in anything more than a casual conversation between people dealing with a similar situation.
This all changes today, when up and coming country music star Kane Brown takes the issue of the rental housing crisis and homelessness to the U.S. Congress.
Kane Brown is not only country’s best-selling new artist of the past and a half years, he has a personal connection to homelessness and talked to BET Digital News about why this issue matters to him.
As a child growing up in Georgia, Kane and his family were financially stressed; yet, his mother never let him and his brother know about the severity of their situation. Even when he lived in a car with his mother, he was too young to understand the financial hardship his mother was experiencing.
“We lived in eight or nine different houses, and six or seven different apartments growing up,” Kane told BET News.
When Kane was around 17 years old, he was living in Nashville trying to turn his country music dreams into a reality. However, the economic burden of working two jobs and still not making enough to pay rent weighed heavy on the musician.
“I was working at Lowes and Target then FedEx, and still did not have enough money to pay rent on my own,” Kane told BET.
As a young person struggling to keep a roof over his head, Kane knows all too well how crippling the rental housing crisis can be. This is why Kane is using his music and partnership with an organization to shed light on the emotional and economic costs of rental housing.
Kane has partnered with Make Room, an organization working to address the rental housing crisis in America and give voice to struggling renters. On September 12, Kane, through his partnership with Make Room, will attend a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Kane hopes his appearance will “give people a voice” and inspire Congress to make sure affordable housing is available to those in need.
As someone who once struggled to pay rent, Kane is using his new platform to be a voice for those bullied byunsympathetic rental agreements.
He may have had tough times in his youth, but Kane is surely working his way up to be a top contender in country music. His Top 15 single, “What Ifs,” featuring Lauren Alaina, has over 26 million views on VEVO and is Certified Gold. The singer has been nominated for an ACM Award for “Top New Male Artist” and a CMT Music Award for “Breakthrough Video” for “Used to Love You Sober."
Kane’s chart-topping music and his work to end homelessness have only just begun and show no signs of slowing down.
(Photo: Jason Davis/Getty Images for HGTV)
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