Democratic Presidential Candidates Talk Housing Affordability

Housing Affordability
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Democratic presidential candidates cited the need to increase housing production to ease America’s affordability crisis during a nationally televised debate last night in Atlanta. Moderator Kristin Welker stated that millions of working Americans are finding that housing has become unaffordable, and that the problem is especially acute in metropolitan areas, particularly in California. Billionaire Tom Steyer said that as a result of policy in California, “we have millions too few housing units. I understand exactly what needs to be done here, which is we need to change policy and we need to apply resources here to make sure that we build literally millions of new units.” Steyer added that “localities and municipalities who have worked very hard to make sure that there are no new housing units built in their towns have to change that and we’re going to have to force it.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said that “our housing problem in America is a problem on the supply side, and that means that the federal government stopped building new housing a long time ago, affordable housing. “So I’ve got a plan for 3.2 million new housing units in America,” Warren added. “Those are housing units for working families, for the working poor, for the poor poor, for seniors who want to age in place, for people with disabilities, for people who are coming back from being incarcerated. It’s about tenants’ rights.” Warren concluded her response by stating that “housing is how we build wealth in America. When I built a housing plan, it’s not only a housing plan about building new units. It’s a housing plan about addressing what is wrong about government-sponsored discrimination, how we need to address it, and we need to say we’re going to reverse it.” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said that his plan “is very simple. If you’re a renter who pays more than a third of your income in rent, then you will get a refundable tax credit between the amount you’re paying and the area median rent. That empowers people in the same way we empower home owners.” In an official statement, NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde highlighted the significance of Democratic presidential hopefuls — as well as President Trump — citing the urgent need to address America’s housing affordability challenges. Read Ugalde's full statement here.

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