Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Housing Policy Ideas from the Presidential Platforms: Common Themes

Just in time for Super Tuesday voting, I just completed a review of housing policies in all of the 2020 presidential candidate platforms.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to highlight these policies focusing on a different housing issue in each post.  Today's excerpt is a section of the article that focuses on common themes in the presidential platforms.  Here is the excerpt:

There were a number of common themes among the platforms. 

In fair housing, many of the platforms encouraged broadening the protected classes under the Fair Housing Act, especially with regard to veteran status and sexual and gender identities.  There was also significant agreement in providing source-of-income protection, reinstituting the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Rule and broadening the availability of disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act. 

In development funding, there was broad support for increasing funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the Housing Trust Fund, and the Capital Magnet Fund.

There were a number of proposals for a renters’ credit, with many of the proposals focusing on limiting low- and middle-income households’ exposure to rent to less than 30% of household income. 

There was overwhelming support for access to counsel in eviction cases.

There was significant interest in incentivizing local governments to reform exclusionary zoning policies.  A variety of proposals were made including linking transportation funding, Community Development Block Grant funding, and state and local tax deductions to eliminating exclusionary zoning.  Several policies were also made to address the legacy of redlining that would have significant impacts. 

There was significant support for Housing Choice Vouchers, with many candidates proposing to fully fund the program.  There was also general support for homelessness funding through the McKinney-Vento homelessness assistance grants and also through a variety of programs to assist homeless veterans.

Housing support in rural and tribal communities received consistent support but without proposals for significant policy innovation.  Integrating climate change and resilience to disaster into housing policy received only modest attention, though several candidates addressed it in detail.  Similarly, there was consistent support for increasing funds for capital repairs in existing public housing.

That's all for today.

For those who want to read the entire review of the platforms, it is available here.  The review looks at candidates' takes on fair housing; housing development funding; home buyer and renter assistance; landlord-tenant; zoning reform; addressing the legacy of redlining; housing vouchers; homelessness; fair lending; rural communities housing policies; tribal communities housing policies; climate resilience and housing policy; and existing public housing policy.


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