Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine built his career as a lawyer in Richmond by pursuing fair-housing cases, a topic that he's brought to the front lines of the 2016 Presidential race, says CityLab writer Kriston Capps.
“A house is more than just a place to sleep. It's part of the foundation on which a family can build a life,” Kaine writes in an editorial published by CNN. “Where you live determines the jobs you can find, the schools your children can attend, the air you breathe, and the opportunities you have. And when you are blocked from living where you want, it cuts to the core of who you are.”
How do Kaine and the rest of the Clinton administration plan to work toward making housing fairer and more affordable with a White House win? Here's what Americans can expect from their policies:
Low Income Housing Tax Credits: The U.S. spends about $6 billion annually on LIHTCs, an indirect form of housing assistance. That Kaine lists it as the first line item in his housing memo might mean that that the Clinton administration thinks LIHTCs are the right tool for the job.
Rental assistance: According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, growth in rental assistance has slowed dramatically. If present trends continue, federal housing-assistance spending would reach its lowest point in 40 years. Presumably, the Clinton plan for housing involves the Democratic Party winning control of the Senate, as it would take a sea change for Congress to pass another budget.
Public housing authorities: “We'll provide more resources to public-housing authorities, and pair these investments with broader economic development efforts,” says Kaine. The needs of public housing have a figure attached to them: $46 billion. Undoing the damage done by austerity will be the first order of business for a Clinton administration looking to boost spending on housing.
First-time home-buyers: The Clinton administration wants to provide $10,000 in assistance on down payments for families looking to buy their first homes, a plan that would build off the popularity of the first-time home buyer tax credit of 2008-2010. Of the housing efforts listed by Kaine, this one’s bound to be the most popular, since Americans of all income levels would be eligible to receive it.