Candidates Address Fair and Affordable Housing in Debate

Affordable housing and racial inequities in housing were featured prominently in the nationally televised presidential debate in New Hampshire on February 7, just days before the state’s primary. Here’s a sample of what they said:

Senator Elizabeth Warren: “We need to start having race-conscious laws. I have a great housing plan to build more housing - but understand that it was the policy of the United States of America to discriminate against African American and any other people of color from buying homes until 1965. You can’t just repeal that and say ok, now everything is even. It’s not. . . .  Be a good federal partner. Put ‘real’ money into education. Put ‘real’ money into housing . . . into health care, into the future of our children. That’s how we build the America of our best values.”

Vice President Joe Biden: “If you own a house in an all-black neighborhood, same exact house in an all-white neighborhood…the house in the all-black neighborhood would be valued less making it more difficult for you to accumulate wealth…we have to do much, much more. That’s what got me into politics in the first place—redlining—to stop it.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar: “30% of African-American kids living in poverty. We know there are economic solutions here, to invest in those communities - housing, childcare. . . . If you have trouble stretching your paycheck to pay for that rent, I know you. And I will fight for you.”

Senator Bernie Sanders: “We have a racist society from top to bottom, impacting health care, housing, criminal justice, education, you name it.”

Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020, NLIHC’s nonpartisan voter and candidate engagement project, tracks what all candidates are saying on affordable housing and homelessness. More information about all 2020 presidential candidates’ housing plans—as well as videos and news articles—can be found at the Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 candidate profiles.