Democratic Presidential Contenders May Elevate Housing Policy

Housing measures fared well in the 2018 election, and it's likely that Democratic contenders for the presidency in 2020 have taken notice and will boost those issues in their campaigns.
January 6, 2019, 1pm PST | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Albert H. Teich

At the local and state levels, Patrick Sisson writes, ballot measures to address housing affordability and homelessness did well in 2018. "Many freshman members of Congress ran and won on platforms that addressed housing issues, including proposals to expand housing vouchers and increase funding for the national Housing Trust Fund."

After "decades of congressional inattention to an issue usually left to state and local governments," Sisson goes on, those results are likely to propel Democratic contenders for the presidency toward housing policy. That includes Senator Elizabeth Warren, who announced her candidacy on January 1, and Senator Kamala Harris, both of whom proposed housing bills last fall.

"With so many members of Congress running or considering a run, this year may see a number of additional housing proposals that double as positioning statements for candidates," Sisson writes. Time will tell whether those proposals amount to anything concrete. Meanwhile, says National Low Income Housing Coalition president Diane Yentel, "The incoming Congress will have several opportunities to increase federal funding for affordable housing solutions: [...] a potential budget deal, housing finance reform, or even a possible infrastructure spending package."

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Published on Thursday, January 3, 2019 in Curbed
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