For many poor Americans, having a decent home and suitable living environment remains a dream. This lack of adequate housing is not only a burden for many of the poor, but it is harmful to the larger society as well, because of the adverse effects of inadequate housing on public health. Not only is the failure to provide adequate housing shortsighted from a policy perspective, but it is also a failure to live up to societal obligations. There is a societal obligation to meet the housing needs of everyone, including the most disadvantaged. Housing assistance must become a federally-funded entitlement.