Presidential Candidates Lay Out Their Housing Policy Plans Before Debates

Early voting is already underway in many areas of the United States. The first presidential debate is scheduled for September 29. In advance of the first debate, both former Vice President Joe Biden and current incumbent Donald Trump have issued statements regarding their housing policy plans for the next four years. Both presidential candidates released these plans on September 24 in a statement to the media.

Getting Information on Candidate Stances About Housing Issues

The Chief Economist and Vice President of LendingTree, Tendayi Kapfidze, asked both the Biden and Trump campaigns for a statement regarding their stances on housing issues. Even though housing is not one of the hot topics on the campaign. whoever wins the election will make an impact on the housing market. In particular, moves around interest rates, the economic status of the country as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment levels, wages and jobs will have a considerable impact on the demand for and supply of single-family and multi-family housing units.

Trump's Stance on Housing

Donald Trump, who is the Republican incumbent, has not created a detailed or future-looking proposal around housing issues. Kapfidze took a look at Trump's past record as it relates to housing. Trump's past statements have included a goal of privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by 2024 at the latest. He also got rid of a federal housing discrimination law. In July 2020, the administration ended the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. It was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015. It was added onto the 1968 Fair Housing Act. It created so-called opportunity zones to grow employment and economic opportunities for commercial properties and the availability of affordable housing in urban areas.

General View of Trump on Housing

Incumbent Donald Trump has made a career out of real estate development, so his views on housing have been made clear over many decades. He demonstrates that the government should play a limited to no role in regulating housing and finance. His ideas and proposals reduce federal involvement in lending. Trump is also anti-consumer protection. He stopped enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established under Obama. Trump has also been working to eliminate policies that protect individuals and families from housing discrimination.

Biden's Plan for Housing

Former Vice President Joe Biden, has issued an extensive statement that includes an ambitious housing policy and specific goals. The entire plan is outlined on his website. Biden's plan for housing encompasses $640 billion in funds. He plans to create a tax credit of up to $15,000 for individuals who become first-time homeowners. He also has a goal of passing legislation that would require any state that gets federal funding from the Community Development Block Grants or Surface Transportation Block Grants to make a strategy that would allow for inclusive zoning.

Biden's Record on Housing Issues

Biden's plans and goals around housing focus on helping people who face financial challenges and discriminatory practices in accessing housing. He wants to make progress in addressing longstanding discrimination in how individuals are able to get mortgage loans. He also wants to take a look at how housing development has been conducted and how to improve it so that discrimination is eliminated. Biden's plans also cover fighting the inequity of home ownership across racial groups. The plan offers steps on how to increase the availability of affordable housing, protect renters and fight homelessness. There is also a section on how the federal government could go about boosting the number of homes through making changes to zoning in urban areas.

Common Housing Problems in the United States

The United States as a whole has a few common threads related to housing problems. The federal minimum wage isn't enough to pay for the rent for a two-bedroom apartment in any state of the union. In particular, rents in urban areas would require a person who earns minimum wage to work 80 to 120 hours per week in order to afford rent. The demand is much higher than the supply, so landlords increase the rent. Another issue is the condition of affordable housing units. Some of the housing units are infested with pests. Others have safety issues related to improper electrical wiring, plumbing problems, leaky roofs and inadequate heating and cooling. People who earn a low wage also need housing to be close to mass transit or places of work.

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