On February 12, Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released her “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” a sweeping economic plan that includes several proposals to address the affordable rental housing crisis. The agenda also calls for $25 billion to support sustainable homeownership and for connecting housing to opportunity.
“High rents not only weigh heavily on the pocketbook of families, but often displace entire communities in the face of local growth,” the proposal states. “There is simply not enough affordable rental housing in many parts of the country to keep up with new demand, driving prices in these areas to a level that is unaffordable for large segments of the population.”
To address the rental housing crisis, Secretary Clinton would protect the current supply of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, while also providing more tax credits in communities where demand for credits outpaces the supply. These credits would be awarded to cities and states through a competitive process. Secretary Clinton would also incentivize affordable housing development through competitive grants and an “infrastructure bank” that would promote land use strategies that encourage the development of affordable rental housing near good jobs.
The agenda also proposes to better connect current housing supports in high poverty neighborhoods with economic opportunity. The proposal states, “Today, by tying support for subsidized housing to high-poverty neighborhoods cut off from commerce, we too often force poor families to live in the very conditions that make escaping poverty most difficult. Rather than helping these families break the cycle of poverty, we’re reinforcing it.”
Secretary Clinton would build on the Choice Neighborhoods and Neighborhood Revitalization Initiatives of the Obama Administration by making additional resources available for economic development, health care, and environmental improvements. Secretary Clinton would also work to increase housing options for families who have received housing vouchers so that they can move to neighborhoods with more jobs and better schools.
Secretary Clinton would support families as they save for homeownership by matching up to $10,000 in savings for a down payment for those who earn less than the area median income. Her plan calls for reducing barriers to lending in underserved communities, supporting housing counseling efforts, and policing abuse and discrimination in the mortgage market.
Read the “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda” at: http://hrc.io/20toVbJ