Urge Moderators to Ask About Housing Solutions in the October Presidential Debate (All States)

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Of the 11 candidates that have qualified for the next Democratic debate, ten have shared a range of ideas to end the affordable housing crisis. Seven of the candidates have put forward broad plans to address housing poverty and homelessness. Voters are eager to hear the candidates talk about how to make homes affordable and accessible to the tens of millions of people in America who are struggling to keep roofs over their heads, or who have no homes at all.

Join Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 in urging the moderators for the upcoming October debates to ask all candidates: What’s your plan to end the nation’s housing crisis?

Sign on to the letter below!

By signing on, your organization agrees to be listed by name on the letter below. The letter will be sent to moderators of the next presidential candidate debate urging them to ask each candidate how they would address the nation's housing and homelessness crisis.

If you are an individual that wishes to get involved in election engagement, please contact the NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer for your state. Find contact information for organizers here.

The letter reads as follows:

To: CNN, The New York Times, and moderators of the next presidential candidate debate 


The undersigned organizations urge you to ask each presidential candidate how they would address the nation’s housing and homelessness crisis.  

Our country is in the grips of a severe and pervasive housing affordability crisis. Nationally, there is a shortage of 7 million homes affordable and available to the lowest-income renters. Rents have risen faster than renters’ incomes over the last two decades, and while more people are renting than ever, the supply of housing has lagged. Fewer than four affordable and available rental homes exist for every 10 of the lowest-income renter households nationwide. As a result, record-breaking numbers of people cannot afford decent homes. Every state and community – urban, rural, or suburban – is impacted. 

So far, 11 presidential candidates have released major housing plans or other housing proposals to address the housing crisis. They are talking about these plans on the campaign trail - in town halls, forums and meetings in New Hampshire, Iowa, and beyond. But during the first two rounds of presidential debates, debate moderators have neglected to directly ask candidates how they would address our housing affordability crisis. People in America need to hear all presidential candidates share what they will do to make homes affordable to the tens of millions who are struggling to keep roofs over their heads or who have no homes at all. 

This is an issue of paramount importance to voters. According to a recent national public opinion poll, 60% of people say housing affordability is a serious problem where they live, up 21 points from 2016. Over 61% of people report having to make at least one sacrifice in the past three years because they were struggling with housing costs, such as cutting back on learning activities for their child, nutritious food, or healthcare.

Strong majorities of the public expect solutions. Eighty-three percent say elected officials are not paying enough attention to the cost of housing and the need for more affordable housing. Nearly 8 in 10 people in America say the president should “take major action” to make housing more affordable for low-income families. And 91% of Democratic voters say they are more likely to vote for candidates who have detailed plans for making housing more affordable.

When people have stable, accessible, affordable homes, lives dramatically improve, economic productivity is stronger, and our nation is more just and equitable. Voters want our leaders to address affordable housing, and they need to know where the candidates stand. As you prepare for the October Democratic debates, we urge you to ask each candidate the question on the minds of voters: how will you address the nation’s affordable housing crisis?