Washington, D.C. – Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) joins other Democratic presidential candidates in proposing bold plans that call for increased investment in affordable homes for those with the greatest needs. Beginning with the assertion “housing is a basic human right,” Representative O’Rourke’s plan would invest in the construction and repair of deeply affordable housing, expanded rental assistance, and homelessness prevention programs and would address issues of housing discrimination and segregation.
Representative O’Rourke’s proposal would create 2 million homes for extremely low-income households with a $400 billion investment in the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) over 10 years. It would invest $50 billion to rehabilitate the nation’s deteriorating public housing and $10 billion in the nation’s rural housing stock. The plan calls for fully funding Housing Choice Vouchers for all very low- and extremely low-income families and for helping voucher holders move to areas of opportunity. The candidate’s plan includes measures to ensure housing, homelessness prevention, and other protections for formerly incarcerated individuals, victims of domestic violence, LGBTQ+ people, and youth experiencing homelessness. It also combats state and local exclusionary zoning laws and bans source-of-income and other discrimination, protects the disparate impact rule, reinstates the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, and provides a national right to counsel for those facing eviction, among other provisions.
As the housing crisis worsens, voters are demanding a response from presidential candidates. There is a nationwide shortage of 7 million homes affordable and available to the lowest-income renters, and just one in four deeply poor families that qualify for housing assistance receives it. 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 even a modest one-bedroom rental. Representative O’Rourke’s housing proposal represents another example of presidential candidates recognizing something must be done to address the nation’s housing affordability crisis.
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
NLIHC has 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. Learn more at: www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org