Washington, DC - Today, presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (D-NY) released a new Plan to Tackle America’s Housing Affordability and Homelessness Crisis. The plan promises to “treat homelessness as a national emergency, double annual federal spending, and cut homelessness in half by 2025.” It would guarantee rental assistance to all extremely low-income Americans and “aims to create hundreds of thousands of new affordable housing units” through increased investments in the national Housing Trust Fund and the Low Income Housing Tax Credits. In addition to helping 1 million Black Americans become first-time homeowners, the plan would address zoning barriers that impede the development of affordable housing; provide the needed capital to maintain our public housing by streamlining the administration of the RAD program; tie federal housing funding to progress in reducing segregation; create a Housing Fairness Commission to test policies aimed at reversing the effects of discrimination, and curb discrimination by landlords, so that recipients are protected regardless of income source, sexual orientation, or immigration status.
Mr. Bloomberg’s plan would allocate $10 billion in federal funds to remove obstacles to the construction of affordable homes and would increase funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund, the HOME program, Community Development Block Grants, and the Capital Magnet Fund. Additionally, his plan would guarantee housing vouchers to all Americans at or below 30% of the area median income. Mr. Bloomberg’s plan would also expand the Fair Housing Act protected classes to include family status, veteran status, sexual orientation and source of income, and would invest $10 billion in a new Housing Fairness Commission. Mr. Bloomberg would address the racial homeownership gap, aspiring to help 1 million Blacks to become homeowners by enforcing fair lending laws, reducing foreclosures and evictions, and increasing the supply of affordable housing.
The U.S. has a shortage of over 7 million rental homes affordable and available to the lowest-income households; there are fewer than four rental homes affordable and available to every ten such households. In 99% of counties in the U.S., a full-time minimum-wage worker cannot afford a one-bedroom rental home at the Fair Market Rent, and seven out of the ten fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. do not pay enough to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. Millions of the lowest-income households – seniors, people with disabilities, low-wage families with children, and others – are spending more than half of their incomes on their housing, with little left for food, medicines, and other necessities and at high risk of homelessness.
NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 candidate and voter engagement project is elevating solutions to the nation’s housing crisis in the presidential campaign and tracking what all the candidates have to say about housing and homelessness: www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org
Read Mike Bloomberg’s housing plan here.
About Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020: NLIHC launched the nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 voter and candidate engagement project to raise the issue of affordable housing in the 2020 elections, to urge candidates to discuss how they will deal with the crisis, to track their comments and proposals, and to engage more low-income renters in the voting.