Democratic Presidential Candidates Address Issues Critical to Latinos at UnidosUS Conference

UnidosUS hosted five of the Democratic presidential candidates at Vision 2020: A Conversation with the Candidates during its Annual Conference on August 5. UnidosUS, a national nonprofit voice for Latinos, is a member of the Steering Committee for NLIHC’s Opportunity Starts at Home multi-sector affordable homes campaign. The day before the presidential candidate forum, NLIHC president and CEO Diane Yentel spoke at UnidosUS’s annual conference on a plenary panel on how the affordable housing crisis is impacting Latinos.

UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía moderated the presidential candidate forum and asked each candidate a range of questions on issues that impact the Latino community. Ms. Murguía asked Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA): “We’ve seen a lot of challenges for Latino communities, whether it’s being able to rent homes, rent houses or apartments, find housing . . . . What would your plan as president be to address housing and, in particular, how would you look to advancing the Latino community?”

Senator Harris responded, citing NLIHC’s Out of Reach 2019 research: “In 99% of counties in the United States, if you are a minimum wage worker working full-time, you cannot afford market rate for a one-bedroom apartment. And what we also know is that a majority of minimum-wage workers are women of color, of which a great percentage are Latinas. So, one of the proposals I have, I call it the ‘Rent Relief Act’. . . . Families and individuals who are spending more than 30% of their income in rent and utilities, they’ll get a tax credit.”

Watch Senator Harris’s full response and read more about her housing proposals to address the needs of low-income renters and homeowners and her comments about racial inequalities in housing at:

NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 project is tracking all candidates’ proposals on affordable housing—and our video archives grow each day.

We are also calling on debate moderators from ABC and Univision—the hosts of the next Democratic debate—to ask the candidates about their plans for affordable housing. Ms. Murguía provided an example with Senator Harris at UnidosUS’s candidate event—it is now time for the national debate moderators to follow suit.

Add your organization to the national letter calling for affordable housing to be addressed directly in the next presidential debate!

For more information about how affordable homes are built with ballots, visit: Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020. Follow us on Twitter: @OurHomesVotes and Facebook: @OHOV2020 and use #OurHomesOurVotes2020 in your posts.