Senator Bernie Sanders Releases Plan to Address Affordable Housing Crisis

On April 17, after touring a public housing development in New York City, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Democratic presidential candidate, released his plan to address the affordable housing crisis in America. In describing the problem, Sanders says, “decent and affordable rental apartments are hard to come by, and millions of households are spending 50 percent or more of their income on housing. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 7.1 million American households cannot find affordable housing. That is unacceptable.”

Senator Sanders commits to expanding the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) to at least $5 billion a year to construct, preserve, and rehabilitate at least 3.5 million affordable housing rental units over the next decade. “Senator Sanders is proud to have authored the original National Affordable Housing Trust Fund bill in the House of Representatives in 2001 that became law in 2008. This is the first new federal housing production program in almost three decades, and the first ever designed to build rental housing for extremely low-income households,” states the release. Expanding the NHTF, Senator Sanders says, will not only help address the affordable housing crisis, “it will also create millions of good paying jobs in the process.”

Senator Sanders also commits to increasing the minimum wage; reinvigorating federal affordable housing programs for the elderly, disabled, and families; defend fair housing; require longer affordability requirements; repair public housing; protect rental assistance; expand the Housing Choice Voucher program; and make HUD-assisted housing lead free. He commits to support homeownership by ending predatory lending, supporting first-time homebuyers, and protecting mortgage interest deduction benefits for low- and moderate-income homeowners, among other things.

Senator Sanders’ housing plan can be seen here.