March 3, 2016 by Jake M.
This presidential season has been absolutely fascinating. With names like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there has been an immense peak of interest amongst different ages and generations. Ultimately, with Obama concluding his term this year, voters have wanted to make sure they vote properly this time around, as many don’t want history to repeat itself.
Several topics are buzzing, becoming the main subjects that presidential candidates are pushing and promoting which include; immigration, tax reforms, terrorism, and war. However, there is one topic that many have had concerns with: the affordable housing crisis among low-income families and their ability to afford rentals; a subject only Clinton has presented ideas for, and a plan she is intends to sculpt if she is elected into office.
With a reasonable percentage of America’s citizens unable to afford rent and the pure lack of housing available to them, Clinton took the concerns of these citizens and intends to correct the problem. According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the overall housing problem is awfully oppressive. As baby boomers age, they will look to rent their properties and their homes, while more lower-earning minority families look for housing. The problem is many decent properties for rent in areas with high performing schools for children and safe communities, are too expensive for a poverty stricken family. The issue will only intensify with time.
The scarcity of rentals that are quality or acceptable enough for these low income minority families is a major problem as shown by a study done by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, “11.2 million extremely low-income households competed for 7.3 million units affordable to them — a 3.9 million unit shortfall.” They provided data that 11.8 million households in the U.S spend more than half of their income on rent. That is disheartening.
Clinton states her simple framed plan by expressing that she wants to dedicate $25 billion in spending to help poor and failing neighborhoods along with the construction of affordable housing. Those funds will be taken from a Wall Street Tax.
Her blueprint and overall plan acts as a promise to “defend” the low-income housing tax credit and to help grow the areas that are in need. With the large summed tax credit, the receiving developers who build rentals for lower-income housing will be able to build an average of 100,000 units or more a year.
There are hesitations because of the lack of detail in her plan, however most are viewing it as ‘better than nothing’ idea and the mindset that more money beats the idea of there being no changes made at all.
Clinton also features the idea of an initiative to match up to $10,000 in savings for a down payment on a house for families that are earning less than the median income per allotted area. Housing scholar Ed Pinto, at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-of-center think tank in Washington, expressed the quality of her idea to target low earners and give families reason to build their wealth, however he believes it would push house prices up and cause the demand for housing to rise, while the supply of homes would lack the same rate of growth.
Pinto and his colleagues have worked on a plan that would be a 15-20 year wealth building home loan, which would assist by giving borrowers a chance to quickly build equity in their homes instead of the usually 30-year fixed-rate mortgage from the Federal Housing Administration.
If FHA loans were to increase in demand, her plan would increase risk in the housing finance system.
Yes, Clinton has a semi-defined “plan” (scraping the surface) and some basic blueprints to resolving a serious problem, but she lacks definite strategy and detailed steps to her overall objective. But, hey, like it has been pointed out, she has more to offer than her opponents do on this concerning topic. Better than nothing, perhaps? Let’s see if this becomes an subject that stems from the mouth of any other candidates . It needs to be resolved or at least worked on, but will any potential candidates put some thought into it?