The 25 candidates currently running for President of the United States make for a crowded field with a diversity of proposals, plans, and solutions. As candidates share their solutions to issues facing our country, it is essential that housing affordability and ending homelessness are a part of the conversation. Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 is reaching out to moderators for the upcoming September debates for candidates in the Democratic presidential primary to urge that affordable homes are a featured part of their discussion. Join us by signing 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: ABC and Univison, 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 coffees 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 September 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?