I often read that Democrats need to do more than just be against Trump. They need to indicate what they support. So, it is great to see Elizabeth Warren coming forward with serious detailed legislative proposals. These will probably never be supported by a Republican House, a Republican Senate, or by Donald Trump. Still, it does put a plausible path forward for consideration which I think is worthy of consideration. Case in point is her plan for housing.
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Bold New $500B Plan for Housing
(Nonprofit Quarterly) Earlier this month, at NPQ, we covered the fiftieth anniversary of a 1968 housing bill that led to the construction of over a million new units of affordable housing in three years before it was scuttled by the Nixon administration. These days, housing production, hobbled by an underfunded system of tax credits, falls far short of those levels. Earlier this year, Benjamin Schneider in City Lab cited a report by an advocacy group called Up for Growth, which calculates that US housing production fell 7.3 million units short of demand from 2000 to 2015, which has led to increasing shortfalls in housing affordability in many US communities.
Now, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) seeks to close that gap. While not as ambitious as the US 1968 housing law, Warren’s bill, with a price of $500 billion over 10 years, would, if passed, easily be the largest federal housing initiative in decades.
“Housing is the biggest expense for most working families—and costs for everyone, everywhere are skyrocketing,” notes Warren.
Warren’s bill is called the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act. The bill, explains Nik DeCosta-Klipa of the Boston Globe, involves two main components: 1) federal funds for housing construction and assistance, 2) incentives for localities to loosen zoning rules. Warren’s bill would fund its goals by raising estate taxes by a like amount.
Specific elements include (see article linked above for further discussion).
"Housing is a Right,” Tony Webster