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Democratic Candidates’ Views on Affordability

Andrew Yang, Democratic presidential candidate, announced his withdrawal from the presidential race Tuesday night.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced the end of his campaign trail in New Hampshire Tuesday evening as primary results in the state were being tallied.

“I am the math guy, and it’s clear from the numbers we’re not going to win this campaign,” Yang said. “So tonight I’m announcing that I am suspending my campaign.”

In looking at the math, it is unlikely any remaining Democratic candidate will feel much of a shift in support upon Yang’s exit. His poll numbers were relatively low, and many of his supporters reported they had been uninvolved with politics prior to Yang’s campaign, according to the New York Times.

Yang, like many of the Democratic candidates, addressed several housing-related concerns in his campaign.

In fact, housing is such a key issue for this presidential race, that moderators have even questioned candidates about affordable housing during the Democratic presidential debates, which is a first, according to an article from City Limits. Yang had plans to address homelessness, new construction, and zoning laws.

Yang attributed part of the nation’s current affordable housing woes to so-called NIMBY (not in my backyard) laws that hinder new construction and the creation of affordable housing. Yang planned to take aim at local zoning laws that unnecessarily blocked affordable housing.

Former candidate Sen. Kamal Harries (D-California) partnered with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) to introduce the $107 billion Housing is Infrastructure Act in November 2019.

According to CNBC, the bill would invest the $107 billion:

$70 billion toward the Public Housing Capital Fund to build and renovate public housing.

$10 billion into the Community Development Block Grant to be spent on eliminating zoning requirements and “other requirements that limit affordable housing development,” according to the text of the bill.

$6 billion for housing for the elderly, people with disabilities, or Native Americans.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) pledged in November 2019 to create a Tenant Protection Bureau as part of her previously announced $500 billion affordable housing plan. According to Senator Warren, the Bureau will be modeled after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“Before the financial crash, I came up with the idea for a consumer financial protection agency—a new federal agency dedicated to protecting American consumers. I fought for that agency, helped build it from scratch, and now the CFPB has returned nearly $12 billion directly to consumers scammed by financial institutions,” Warren said, according to The Hill.

He planned to promote alternative housing options such as micro-apartments and communal living in urban areas.

Yang also focused heavily on veteran homelessness and had multifaceted plans to address and prevent homelessness among the nation’s veterans.

One of Yang’s most notable proposals was his “Freedom Dividend,” a universal basic income. He proposed providing Americans with $1,000 per month, regardless of work or income status.

While this policy is not housing-specific, it would certainly help Americans, especially low-income Americans, to afford housing and other basic living needs.

Addressing zoning and land-use laws has the potential for major impact on housing supply, according to researchers from the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center.

Two researchers said in December that several Democratic candidates’ housing plans were on the right track but that their plans could use a little “fine-tuning.”

Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren have all also mentioned zoning laws in their plans for addressing affordable housing.

Read the article here.

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