PHILADELPHIA, PA − Monday, January 25, 2021 − Senator Nikil Saval (D–Senate District 1) begins the 2021–2022 Senate Session as Democratic Chair of the Senate Urban Affairs & Housing Committee. This is a significant appointment for the first-year lawmaker, whose platform included a call for a Homes Guarantee and for housing to be recognized as a human right. 

“Housing is at the center of everything we do,” said Senator Saval. “It is key to our physical health, emotional well-being, and economic stability.”

Senator Saval’s first priority as Democratic Chair will be to work with colleagues to provide a swift response to the exacerbated harms brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Pennsylvanians faced a housing crisis long before the onset of COVID-19, but with hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs in the pandemic’s wake, this crisis becomes catastrophic,” said Senator Saval. “We know that evictions and foreclosures are capable of permanently disrupting families and perpetuating intergenerational cycles of poverty and trauma. There is an urgent need for us to provide help for those who are struggling right now so that our communities are set on the path toward long-term recovery.”

In addition to his appointment to Urban Affairs & Housing, Senator Saval will also serve on the Appropriations, Communications & Technology, Local Government, and Aging & Youth committees. In each of these capacities, Senator Saval said his work will be centered on meeting the needs of working people and communities in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Senator Saval noted that he plans to join with colleagues in both chambers to fight for a progressive budget that invests in our communities while rejecting the politics of austerity.

Senator Saval expressed excitement for the work ahead. “I am honored by these assignments and ready to continue fighting on behalf of people throughout my city and state. As legislators, we must take care that our work benefits all communities. I refuse to leave anyone behind.”