Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on August 6 visited Skid Row in Los Angeles and toured the nearby Star Apartments, a facility providing permanent supportive housing to over 100 formerly homeless individuals. He then held an “Affordable Housing Town Hall” in Northridge, CA, where he spoke about his soon-to-be-released plan to address the housing affordability crisis in the U.S.
“We have people spending 40%, 50%, 60% of their limited incomes on housing,” Senator Sanders said at the town hall. “The truth is that when we have 18 million families in our country spending more than 50% of their limited incomes on housing, think about it, how do people buy the food? How do they take care of their kids? How do they put gas in their car? How do they afford health care? And the answer is they do not.” Citing research from NLIHC, Senator Sanders said,” it is unacceptable to me that there is virtually no place in America, especially in states like California where a full-time, minimum-wage worker can afford a decent one-bedroom apartment.”
Senator Sanders said his plan would include:
- expanding permanent funding to the national Housing Trust Fund to build 7.5 million affordable rental homes;
- fully funding Section 8 rental assistance;
- doubling funding to the McKinney-Vento Act programs to address homelessness;
- increasing funding for services to the chronically homeless;
- investing in maintaining and rehabbing public housing;
- making sure more housing is permanently affordable (e.g., through community land trusts);
- allowing communities to use an array of tools like rent control;
- enforcing fair housing laws and ending modern-day redlining; and
- providing a living wage.
See what else Senator Sanders and the other presidential candidates have said about affordable housing on the campaign trail at NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 website. The site also provides advocates a collection of tools, guides, and other resources to use in their candidate- and voter-engagement efforts.
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