Hillary Clinton Releases Plan to Address Affordable Rental Housing
On Feb. 12, Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released her “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” an economic plan that includes several proposals to address the affordable rental housing crisis.
“High rents not only weigh heavily on the pocketbook of families, but often displace entire communities in the face of local growth,” the proposal states. “There is simply not enough affordable rental housing in many parts of the country to keep up with new demand, driving prices in these areas to a level that is unaffordable for large segments of the population.”
With this release, Clinton became the first mainstream candidate in the 2016 presidential campaign to include rental housing issues as part of his or her policy platform. Her agenda proposes to better connect current housing supports in high-poverty neighborhoods with economic opportunity. The proposal states, “Today, by tying support for subsidized housing to high-poverty neighborhoods cut off from commerce, we too often force poor families to live in the very conditions that make escaping poverty most difficult. Rather than helping these families break the cycle of poverty, we’re reinforcing it.”
Specific housing-related proposals in her agenda include:
- Protect the current supply of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, while also providing more tax credits in communities where demand for credits outpaces the supply;
- Encourage communities to implement land use strategies that make it easier to build affordable rental housing near good jobs by increasing funding available to those that do through both her infrastructure bank and competitive grant programs, like the Department of Transportation’s TIGER initiative;
- Expand the choices that recipients of housing vouchers have in deciding where to live to include neighborhoods with more jobs and better schools;
- Promote sustainable homeownership by matching up to $10,000 in savings for responsible homeowners who earn less than area median income to put toward a down payment on a first home, supporting housing counseling, and updating federal underwriting tools and other factors that can restrict access to credit; and
- Support job creation in low-income neighborhoods by expanding and making permanent the New Markets Tax Credit. Clinton would like to double the amount of credits available to low-income communities, and add new credits for communities hardest hit by decline.