Affordable Housing and the 2016 Election

The cost of housing affects millions across the country, but the issue has been conspicuously absent in the campaigns. Hillary Clinton's plan includes an imprecise remedy, while Donald Trump's pronouncements have been vaguer still.

1 minute read

August 26, 2016, 1:00 PM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


Hillary Clinton

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Daniel J. McGraw laments the lack of attention given to affordable housing during this year's boisterous presidential campaigning. He notes, with some understatement, "this election has become more about the personalities of the candidates and the latest campaign gaffes than any real discussion of important issues."

And the issue is important, as most of us are acutely aware. "According to a Harvard report this year, 11.4 million households pay more than half their income for housing, and the number of those who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing has reached 21.3 million."

Moreover, according to Angela Boyd, managing director of the Make Room campaign, "About 90 percent of the rental housing market being built right now is for luxury, and a whole segment of the population is being overlooked."

Both candidates have addressed the issue to a certain extent. And, no surprise, Hillary Clinton's plan has a bit more meat to it. "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's plan would try to lift more families into sustainable homeownership through a $25 billion housing investment program that would include low-income housing tax credits and down payment assistance."

Meanwhile, Donald Trump maintains that lowering taxes will spur growth extending to the housing market. "Trump has yet to lay out a full plan with specifics, such as how to reduce spending to pay for the income tax decreases."

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